LITON Das and Mosaddek Hossain played key roles as Bangladesh levelled a three-match Twenty20 international cricket series against Zimbabwe with a seven-wicket victory at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
Spin-bowling all-rounder Mosaddek took five wickets for the first time in his T20 international career as the tourists restricted Zimbabwe to 135-8.
Faced with the modest target, Bangladesh were always ahead on run rate thanks to an impressive start propelled by opener Liton, whose 56 off 33 balls included two sixes and sixa fours.
The tourists cruised to 136-3 with 15 balls remaining and success was particularly joyful as it was only the second T20 triumph in their last 15 internationals.
Defeat ended a six-match winning streak by Zimbabwe in the shortest format since former star batsman Dave Houghton returned in June for a second stint as national coach.
The series will be decided tomorrow before the teams change formats and play three one day internationals.
Mosaddek, who had never taken more than two wickets for his country in a T20 match, wreaked havoc with his victims including openers Regis Chakabva and captain Craig Ervine.
Zimbabwe, who will join Bangladesh at the T20 World Cup in Australia during October, were reeling at 31-5 by the time Mosaddek completed his off-break onslaught.
Sikandar Raza and Ryan Burl then stopped the rot for the hosts, adding 80 runs for the sixth wicket as none of five other Bangladesh bowlers could emulate Mosaddek.
Raza scored 62 off 53 deliveries, including two sixes and four fours, before being caught in the covers by Munim Shahriar.
Apart from Raza, Burl and Luke Jongwe were the only Zimbabwe batsmen to reach double figures.
Liton claimed his sixth T20 international half century before trying to sweep former Zimbabwe captain Sean Williams, missing and being trapped leg before off the final ball of the ninth over.
Unperturbed, the visitors soon required less than a run a ball to succeed and an unbeaten 55-run fourth wicket stand between Afif Hossain and Najmul Hossain ensured a convincing victory.
The seven-wicket victory brought Bangladesh level at 1-1 in the series, with the decider tomorrow at the same venue.
ZIMBABWE: Wessly Madhevere, Craig Ervine (capt), Regis Chakabva (wkt), Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza, Milton Shumba, Wellington Masakadza, Ryan Burl, Richard Ngarava, Luke Jongwe, Tanaka Chivanga
BANGLADESH: Liton Das, Munim Shahriar, Anamul Haque, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Afif Hossain, Nurul Hasan (capt, wkt), Mosaddek Hossain, Mahedi Hasan, Hasan Mahmud, Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful Islam