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Brian Bennett’s all-round performance and Sikandar Raza’s unbeaten 72 secured a consolation eight wickets victory for Zimbabwe in the fifth and final T20I of the series against Bangladesh here at the Shere Bangla National Stadium on Sunday.

The visitors won by eight wickets in the fifth T20I to reduce the margin of the series loss to 4-1 against Bangladesh.

Bennett dominated both power plays as he scored a breezy 70 in the chase after taking two wickets in Bangladesh’s powerplay to end with 2-20.

This defeat can’t be just brushed under the carpet as the visitors ran the hosts close in the previous two games and finally managed to take them over the line on Sunday.

Chasing a target of 158, after excelling with the ball, Bennett took Zimbabwe to the next level with the bat. He hit Mahedi Hasan for two fours in the opening over. He then whacked Mahedi for two sixes and a four in his next over, followed by two more fours from Saifuddin in the fourth.

Shakib Al Hasan’s stumping of Tadiwanashe Marumani in the fifth over stalled Zimbabwe’s momentum before Raza smashed Saifuddin over midwicket for his maiden six. Bennett surpassed his previous best T20I score with a six off Rishad Hossain before reaching 50 in the 12th over.

He hit two more sixes, taking his total to five, before holing out to Saifuddin for 70 off 49 balls.

Raza, who helped Bennett to a 74-run second-wicket partnership, proceeded to unleash powerful shots when the opener left.

He hit Saifuddin for two fours in the sixteenth over. It left Zimbabwe needing 32 runs from the final four overs. He reached his fifty in 41 balls, scoring four off a draw.

Raza then hit Saifuddin for a massive six over midwicket, followed by a six over long-off and a four. He completed with an undefeated 72 off 46 balls, including four sixes and six fours. Campbell was undefeated on eight runs and scored the winning runs in the nineteenth over.

Earlier, Mahmudullah’s fighting half-century powered Bangladesh to 157/6 against Zimbabwe.

Opting to field first, Blessing Muzarabani provided his team with the big wicket of Tanzid Hasan for 2 in the second over of the game. In the next over, Brian Bennett left Soumya Sarkar bamboozled with his delivery as the Bangladesh batter’s top edge landed into the hands of Sean Williams at backward point.

Bennett again gave the hosts another blow as he dismissed Towhid Hridoy for 1 in the 5th over.

Shakib Al Hasan’s stay at the crease was cut short as he was removed by Luke Jongwe after playing a knock of 21 off 17.

In the 19th over Muzarabani bagged his second wicket of the match as he removed well-set batter Mahmudullah for 54. New batter Jaker Ali slammed Jongwe for one four and six while in the last over he along with Mohammad Saifuddin smashed 13 runs to take their team’s total to 157/6.

Scores: Bangladesh 157/6 (Mahmudullah 54, Najmul Hossain Shanto 36; Brian Bennett 2-20) beat Zimbabwe 158/2 (Brian Bennett 70, Sikandar Raza 72; Shakib Al Hasan 1-9) by eight wickets.

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