Courtesy of Soumya’s blistering knock, Bangladesh managed to take 75 off the last five overs.
Soumya Sarkar was excluded from the Bangladesh Cricket Board's (BCB) central contract on Sunday, right before the match. BCB's chief selector Minhajul Abedin, later on, said that it was an honest mistake.
And Soumya showed in the match, why he had to be included. He did not play in the ODI series to tie his knot and did not open. But still playing at no. 3, he bludgeoned the Zimbabwean bowlers as he was unbeaten on 62 off 32 deliveries, hitting four fours and five sixes. In the last over, he hit Zimbabwean seamer Chris Mpofu three sixes to take Bangladesh to a massive 200-3.
Courtesy of Soumya's blistering knock, Bangladesh managed to take 75 off the last five overs.
Apart from Soumya, Liton Das picked up his batting right from where he left it. He had scored a record-breaking 176 in the third ODI and brought up his first T20I fifty against Zimbabwe to take Bangladesh off to a good start, which laid the foundation for their huge total.
Zimbabwe were battered in every match by the Bangladeshi batsmen. Despite that, Zimbabwe skipper Sean Williams opted to field after winning the toss in the first T20I. And nothing different happened.
Tamim struggled a bit at the start but Liton continued from right where he left in the third ODI. He creamed the deliveries to and over the boundary rope, and within the sixth over, the opening stand crossed the fifty-mark.
Their stand was finally broken by the impressive Zimbabwean off-spinner Wesley Madhevere. Tamim tried to hit the young off-spinner out of the park after stepping down but only managed to skew it. And captain Williams was there and Madhevere picked up a wicket on his debut. It was a marginal no-ball call, but there was just something behind the line and Tamim had to go.
Their partnership was broken, but it was broken after they themselves had broken their own record of Bangladesh's highest opening stand in T20Is. The previous record was of 74 runs, that too between them, in 2018. And this time they had put 92 runs, achieving another milestone.
Liton soon picked up his fifty off 31 deliveries but did not last long after he did. He was trapped LBW by Raza and reviewed, but all it came to was Bangladesh losing their review.
Mushfiqur Rahim seemed to be in good touch but his innings was short-lived. The veteran batsman could only score 17 before getting dismissed to Mpofu when he was caught at mid-off.
But Soumya and Mahmudullah Riyad put up a 54-run stand off just 25 deliveries to take Bangladesh to 200. Soumya was the blistering one as he picked up his fifty off just 30 deliveries and then ended on 62, with two brilliant hits off the last two deliveries off the innings.
Zimbabwe will require to chase down 201 in their bout. But considering their track record in this tour, one might not bet on them. But as long as it is cricket, who knows?