Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com
Shoriful Islam picked up two wickets in consecutive deliveries in the final over as Bangladesh secured a hard-fought seven run win over the UAE in their first of the two-match Twenty20 international series in Dubai on Sunday.
Trying to overhaul Bangladesh’s 158-5, the hosts started the final over needing 11 runs with two wickets in hand. But the 21-year old left-arm pacer Shoriful gave away just three runs from the first two balls before striking.
He dismissed Aayan Afzal Khan, caught by Mosaddek Hossain for 25. The batsmen crossed, but off the next ball Shoriful had Junaid Siddique caught by Mohammad Saifuddin for 11.
Chirag Suri, with 39, and Viritya Arvind (19) had put the UAE in a position to challenge with a 50-run 22-ball second-wicket stand.
But Shoriful, with 3-21, Mehidy Hasan (3-17) and Mustafizur Rahman (2-31) stopped the hosts winning momentum.
Earlier batting first, the Tigers rode on Afif Hossain’s unbeaten 77 off 55 balls that included seven fours and three sixes and captain Nurul Hasan’s 35 off 25 not out.
Afif and Nurul duo combined an 81-run sixth-wicket partnership off just 54 balls to rescue Bangladesh from yet another batting disaster in the shortest format of the game.
Afif, who was dropped twice in the innings, reached his fifty off 38 balls.
Nurul also played a valuable role. The wicketkeeper-batsman smashed a six in the final ball of the innings as the Tigers added 65 runs in the last five overs.
Tigers’ team management once again opted for the makeshift opening pair of Mehidy Hasan and Sabbir Rahman. But the trick didn’t work.
Sabbir was the first to go in the second over of the innings when the right-handed batsman went for a cross-batted hook to seamer Sabir Ali and was caught at square-leg for a duck.
Liton Das, coming in at number three, smashed three boundaries but was eventually dismissed for 13 off eight balls while Mehidy was beaten by pace and handed a return catch to seamer Zawar Farid for 12 off 14 balls as the Tigers reached 42-3 in the Powerplay.
Things went from bad to worse when Yasir Ali, on four, was totally undone by the googly from leg-spinner Karthik Meiyappan as Bangladesh were left reeling at 47-4 inside eight overs.
Mosaddek Hossain was stumped to become Meiyappan’s second victim before Afif and Nurul helped the Tigers rebuild.
The two teams will meet each other in the second and final T20I on Tuesday.