A depleted Bangladesh cricket team put up good fight before going down by three wickets to Australia in their second match of the ICC World Twenty20 Super-10 in Bangalore on Monday.
The Tigers came into the game without suspended bowlers Taskin Ahmed and Arafat Sunny and an in-form batsman Tamim Iqbal, yet made their 156-5 nearly a winning total on a flat batting track.
Some poor catching and lack of self-belief seemed to have cost the Tigers as Australia coasted to 157-7 in 18.3 overs despite a mid-innings jittery.
Opener Usman Khawaza blazed his way to his maiden half-century in Twenty20 format to orchestrate the win that also kept Aussies afloat in the tournament and knocked Bangladesh all but out of semi-final race.
Mustafizur Rahman returned for Tigers to claim two big wickets for 30 runs while Sakib al Hasan also picked up 3-27 but they could not unsettle Aussies as boundaries rained down at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
The Tigers wasted a chance to put Australia under pressure as Mohammad Mithun dropped Shane Watson on 13 and just when Sakib seized the momentum back Al-Amin Hossain grassed a simple catch of John Hastings on naught.
Watson put 62 runs with Khawaza before Bangladesh had the first laugh with the ball thanks to a brilliant piece of fielding of Sabbir Rahman. With Watson run out for 21, Steven Smith attempted rebuilding the innings only to be baffled by Mustafiz on quite a few occasions.
Mustafiz finally bowled the Aussie captain on 14 before Al-Amin ended the onslaught of Khawaza, who made 58 runs from 45 balls. Sakib then took a sharp return catch to dismiss David Warner for 17 to give Bangladesh a glimmer of hope.
Glen Maxwell took Australia close with 26 off 15 balls but Bangladesh somehow managed to stay alive with Sakib and Mustafiz striking again. However, facing with a mediocre target Australia did not feel any anxiety as James Faulkner finished the game in style with a four off debutant Saqlain Sajib.
The Tiger felt a little with their total despite late blitz of Mahmudullah, who remained unbeaten on 49 facing 29 balls.
With Tamim absent and Soumya Sarkar and Sabbir out in little over five overs Mithun lifted the morale of the side with some quick runs before he perished with 23 off 22 balls.
Sakib looked to have regained some of his touch before he also departed for 33 runs having faced 25 balls.
Australia struck regularly through leg-spinner Adam Zampa, who finished with 3-23, whenever a partnership seemed developing.
-With New Age input