Once again a low-scoring match, lower than the first match and second consecutive win for Bangladesh against mighty Australia when you wait so long to play against them. Absolutely Incredible! What a performance by the Bengal Tigers!
Before coming to Bangladesh, Aussies were not much worried about the series. They were focusing on the upcoming T20 World Cup which is scheduled to be held in UAE in October.
The match started at the scheduled time and Australia chose to bat first. Once again Bangladesh started off with spinner, Mahedi Hasan and got success in the 3rd over. The first wicket was taken by Mahedi and Australia looked very nervous.
Australia stumbled in the Powerplay and Bangladeshi bowlers did their part perfectly to restrict them to 32. After struggling in the powerplay, Marsh and Moises Henriques added 57 off 52 for the third wicket partnership.
Australia had the foundation to score at least 140+ as they scored 90 in 15 overs. In the death spell, both Shoriful and Mustafizur provided regular breakthroughs to restrict them to 121 for 7.
Mustafizur took 3 important wickets for 23 runs including the double strike in an over which is his best figure since 2017. Australians were struggling and had all sorts of problems picking up his slower cutters. They will surely work on his cutters and how to play against him.
Matthew Wade, Australian skipper said, “We were in a good position today (with the ball), but unfortunately we struggled with the bat in the last four overs.”.
Bangladesh couldn’t start well with the bat. But they managed to score runs depending on Shakib, and Mahedi. They put on 37 runs for the third wicket in a pitch that was not ideal for stroke-making.
While defending a low score on the third wicket, Mahedi kept lofting deliveries. It felt like he was going to be out but every time the ball was out of the Aussie fielders. After the match, Mahedi said, “I told Shakib to stay calm and I will charge on the bowlers.”
At one point during the chasing, Bangladesh was 67-5. It seemed they were in serious trouble. A must-needed 56 run partnership between Afif Hossain and Nurul Hasan proved to be key as Australia clearly was in a favorable position.
Afif Hossain played unbeaten innings of 37 runs from 31 balls, hitting five fours and one six. He finished the game in style with a boundary over the wicket-keeper while Nurul was on 22.
“We knew we had to stay calm, keep wickets in hand,“ Afif said. “Nurul played well so there was no pressure on me either.
Afif Hossain was announced Player of the Match and Mustafizur as Valuable Player of the Match. Both the players have clear prospects in the future and they need to be nourished more.
Mahmudullah, winning captain: “It’s very pleasing to see Afif and Sohan stand up, carry us to the end. Showed maturity. And up front our bowlers did very well to restrict them to 120. But Shakib was very important with bowling and batting, shows how important he is to the team. Losing few early wickets causing tension in the dressing room, but the way Afif and Sohan (Nurul batted), 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.”