Sarkar stars as Bangladesh win T20 series to complete sweep

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Opener Soumya Sarkar top-scored for Bangladesh with 68 in a Twenty20 international victory over Zimbabwe in Harare on Sunday

Opener Soumya Sarkar top-scored with 68 as Bangladesh won a thrilling run chase to defeat Zimbabwe by five wickets and win a Twenty20 international series 2-1 in Harare on Sunday.

Set a challenging target of 194 to triumph, the tourists reached the target with four balls to spare when middle-order batsman Shamim Hossain hit a single.

Inspired by Wesley Madhevere (54 runs) and Regis Chakabva (48), Zimbabwe posted 193-5 as they sought a first success in a two-nation T20 series.

But all-rounder Sarkar, who won the player of the match and the player of the series awards, set the tone for a brilliant run chase that gave Bangladesh an all-format sweep in the southern Africa nation.

Not only did he top score, but his right-arm medium fast deliveries yielded 2-19, the most impressive figures among the six Bangladesh bowlers.

The Tigers began the tour with victory in a one-off Test, then won all three one-day internationals. All the matches were played behind closed doors in Harare because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sarkar faced 49 balls and struck a six and nine fours before being caught by substitute Tarisai Musakanda at long-off after slicing a delivery from Luke Jongwe.

Solid knocks from skipper Mahmudullah Riyad (34) and Shakib al Hasan (25) kept the runs coming and it was left to Shamim Hossain to take Bangladesh over the line.

He struck a four off the first ball of the final over to level the score and a single from the next ball triggered wild celebrations by the tourists.

While Madhevere and Chakabva led the way for Zimbabwe, there were valuable contributions from Ryan Burl (31 not out), Tadiwanashe Marumani (27) and Dion Myers (23).

The only batsman to flop was skipper Sikandar Raza, who was out for a duck, his second of the series, and he was run out for four in the other innings.

Madhevere was out when he miscued a reverse sweep and was caught at short third man by Shoriful Islam having struck six fours.

Chakabva hit six sixes before being dismissed by a spectacular catch with Mohammad Naim flicking the ball back at deep midwicket and Shamim stretching to grab it.

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