SA’s shock defeat to hosts makes Tigers’ job harderStaff Correspondent
Bangladesh’s hopes of making the final of tri-series Twenty20 tournament in Zimbabwe received a jolt when the home side shocked South Africa by 29 runs on Wednesday.
Zimbabwe’s second win in the tournament put Bangladesh under immense pressure as they now have to win their remaining two matches and wait for the other results to go in their favour to play in the final.
The Tigers will face Zimbabwe today in their third game, a game that now has turned into a battle for survival for them.
The Tigers were already on the back-foot having lost their first two matches, including a 39-run drubbing by South Africa on Tuesday, that had faded their chances of reaching the final.
They lost the tournament opener to Zimbabwe by 11 runs, but were expecting a win by a bigger margin in today’s match will open the door of the final for them.
The unexpected loss of South Africa, who were unable to chase down Zimbabwe’s 176-4 and were bundled out for 147 in 19.2 overs, however changed all equations.
In-form Hamilton Masakadza (55 from 39 balls) and Vusi Sibanda (58 off 50 balls) added 114 runs in the opening stand to lay the foundation for Zimbabwe before Chris Mpofu and Graeme Cremer claimed three wickets each to bring South Africa down to earth.
Bangladesh must have watched the game with bitter disappointment and are now looking for the return of opener Tamim Iqbal to boost their chances of survival.
Tamim, who missed the last game for thigh injury, is slowly regaining his fitness, which gave them some hopes at least.
‘Tamim has a 50-50 chance to play,’ Tanzeeb Ahsan Saad, manager of the national cricket team, told New Age on Wednesday.
Saad indicated whatever happens to Tamim the team is set for at least one change with Jahirul Islam certain to miss out on the game. If Tamim is fit he will play in his place, otherwise Junaed Siddique will come in.
The Tigers have full confidence in their bowlers, who conceded 209 runs against South Africa and could take only six Zimbabwean wickets in the first match when the home side made 154.
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