Friday, June 14, 2024

Batting let Tigers down

Bangladesh’s self-des-tructive batsmen muffed up a wonderful opportunity provided by the bowlers as they bowed out of the World Twenty20 after conceding a 27-run defeat against Australia in their final Group A match at Kensington Oval in Barbados last night.
On a lively wicket that produced bounce and spin, the Bangladesh bowlers gave a genuine chance to ruffle a few feathers with an inspired performance that helped restrict Australia to 141-7 from 20 overs.
After the Australian innings the equation for the Tigers to qualify to the next round was to reach the target of 142 in 19 or fewer overs at the expense of defending champions Pakistan.
But that hope was nipped in the bud when they were reduced to 15-4 in no time. Imrul Kayes was out for a duck in the first over, playing early a lofted drive straight to mid-on where David Hussey took the catch. And just to prove coach Jamie Siddons correct Mohammad Ashraful (0), who scored a wonderful fifty in the first game against Pakistan, glided the ball to deep third man, where Shaun Tait took a diving catch, for a three-ball duck.
Aftab Ahmed (1), coming in place of the injured Tamim Iqbal, attempted a pull shot but ended up offering a tame catch at point to David Warner. Mahmudullah Riyad (2) is known for playing the orthodox way but he too played a rash shot straight Mike Hussey at square leg.
After that it was a demanding job to rebuild and then play catch up and that too was dashed after skipper Shakib Al Hasan got out to an outstanding catch by the elder of the Hussey brothers at mid-wicket after scoring a run-a-ball 28. Bangladesh eventually scored 114 before being all out in 18.4 overs.
Earlier, Bangladesh seam and spin took the Aussies by surprise as they struggled to put bat to ball and except a dogged late show from Michael Hussey and Steven Smith, the Tigers were well on top of the game. The two added 74 much-needed runs for the seventh wicket after they had slipped to 65 for six in the 13th over.
Mashrafe Bin Mortaza had the unenviable task of keeping David Warner and Shane Watson quiet in the first over and he did just that, keeping the two hitters on a tight leash. There was instant reward for the Narail Express when his well-directed bouncer had Watson caught well by Aftab Ahmed for four. Warner struggled against spin and in Shakib’s second ball, holed out to Aftab at deep mid-wicket for 16 off 11 balls.
Australia had skipper Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin to take them to 37 runs when Haddin top-edged an almighty heave off Abdur Razzak, only to be caught at short third-man by Shafiul Islam. Three overs later, it was Clarke’s turn to go, chipping Mohammad Ashraful’s off-spin to long-on where Jahurul Islam took a simple catch.
Mashrafe then had his second wicket, another bouncer that had his Kolkata Knight Riders teammate David Hussey top-edging to wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim. Things got even worse for the Aussies when Cameron White was cleaned up by Shakib, as the Bangladesh skipper tied the noose around their much-vaunted opponents.
But Australia had their finisher Mike Hussey at the crease and the left-hander resurrected a broken innings along with new boy Smith. The two played spin as patiently as possible and then launched into Mashrafe, taking him for 17 runs in the 17th over of the innings. The Aussies took 52 off the final five overs with Hussey smashing an unbeaten 47 off 29 balls with a six and four boundaries while Smith made a crucial 27 off 18 balls that had two sixes, both off Razzak’s last over, and a boundary.
Shakib and Mashrafe took two wickets each while Ashraful and Razzak had one each. Smith was the last wicket to fall, being run out by Rahim in the penultimate ball of the innings.
AUSTRALIA: 141 for 7 in 20 overs (Warner 16, Clarke 16, M Hussey 47 not out, Smith 27; Mashrafe 2-28, Shakib 2-24, Razzak 1-29, Ashraful 1-24)
BANGLADESH: 114 all out in 18.4 overs (Shakib 28, Mushfiqur 24, Jahurul 18, Shafiul 16; Nannes 4-18, D Hussey 2-8, Smith 2-29)
Result: Australia won by 27 runs.
Man-of-the-match: Michael Hussey.

Courtesy of The Daily Star

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