Bangladesh eying to wrap up series against Australia
Published : Thursday, 5 August, 2021 at 9:29 PM Count : 385
Bangladesh are standing a good chance to wrap up the five-match series, with two matches to go, as they take on Australia in the third T20 International tomorrow (Friday) at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
The match starts at 6 pm and will be aired live on Gazi TV and T Sports.
The Tigers are leading the series now by 2-0 thanks to their 23-run victory in the first and five-wicket win in the second game. A win in the third game will give Tigers the series victory in the first bilateral T20 series between the two sides.
In both matches, Australia’s batting line up found them wanting in slow pitch and the batting woes looked unlikely to be solved. In the first match, the visitors were all out for 108 runs, while chasing the target of just 132. In the second match, they were in relatively good position till 16th over before Mustafizur Rahman’s cutter and slower floundered them as they were restricted to 121-7.
Australia captain Matthew Wade however cautioned his side to fix the batting issue ahead of the crucial third match in which a defeat would cost them the series. And a defeat at the same time would pose a threat to them to be whitewashed in the series.
“Unfortunately we struggled with the bat in the last four overs in the second game which was very disappointing. We were in a good position to get 130s-140s, a good score on this track,” Wade said.
“Their (Bangladeshi) quicks took pace off well, and we'll look to do better there. The bowlers from both teams have been terrific, we are happy how they are going. Agar was terrific again. Our bowling is definitely not the problem. We've had a game (first match) where the top wasn't great, and this time (second game) our bottom half with the bat wasn't. Need to fix the issue going into the third match.”
Bangladesh in contrast are high on confidence, considering the way they sailed home in the last two matches.
Bangladesh were held back to 131-7 in the first game and they never could successfully defend such a moderate total in the past in this format. But the bowlers, specially left-arm spinner Nasum Ahmed wrecked havoc in Australian batting line up with 4-19 to help the side defend the total in emphatic way.
In the second game, chasing a target of 122, Bangladesh were reduced to 67-5 in the 12th over but they didn’t give up against the bowling line up that had Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood. Young Afif Hossain played boldly against those two best bowlers of the world to help the snatch the victory from the jaws of defeat.
Youngsters’ performance was something that gave Bangladesh T20 captain Mahmudullah Riyad the confidence to wrap up the series early.
In both games, ace allrounder Shakib Al Hasan’s contribution was also crucial, which Mahmudullah pointed out.
“It's very pleasing to see Afif and Sohan stand up, carry us to the end. They showed maturity. And up front our bowlers did very well to restrict them to 120,” Mahmudullah said.
“But Shakib was very important with bowling and batting, shows how important he is to the team. Losing a few early wickets caused tension in the dressing room, but the way Afif and Sohan did, it was a lot of relief. I think Mustafizur has always been there in these conditions, and effective too. Shoriful bowled really well and all the bowlers chipped in too. We are taking it game by game."
Before registering victory in those games, Bangladesh lost all the past four matches against Australia.
In T20 cricket, the Tigers so far played 104 matches and won 36. They had lost a staggering number of 66 matches while two matches fetched no result.