Bangladesh completed an emphatic win over Papua New Guinea to become the first team from Group B to seal their place in the Super 12 stage of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.
Having posted a challenging 181/7, Bangladesh bowled PNG out for 97. The 84-run win, their biggest ever by runs in any T20I, also gave their net run rate a boost.
While a top-two position is assured, whether they finish first or second on the table will depend on the result of the second game of the day at the Oman Cricket Academy Ground, between Scotland and Oman.
For the Tigers, there were several heroes on a hot afternoon. Shakib Al Hasan, who made an important 46, ripped through the PNG line-up with four wickets. Mahmud Ullah struck a 27-ball half-century and the middle order added 68 runs in the last five overs.
PNG left floundering
PNG, playing in their debut World Cup, impressed with their catching. Kiplin Doriga, the wicket-keeper batter, also made a fighting 46*.
However, having fallen to 29/7 inside 11 overs while chasing a stiff target, there was no coming back for them. They will return home with no wins.
PNG’s new opening pair of Lega Siaka and Assad Vala lasted just 15 balls. Siaka, who needed an injury break after getting hit on the thigh, was trapped in front by a full and straight Mohammad Saifuddin delivery.
Wicket-keeper Nurul Hasan took a fantastic one-handed leg-side catch, sending back Vala off the bowling of Taskin Ahmed.
Shakib takes four
Charles Amini then became Shakib’s first victim of the day. Mohammad Naim, patrolling the long-on region, ran to his right and timed his leap to perfection, even as he avoided contact with the boundary ropes.
Three balls later, Simon Atai gave Mahedi Hasan an easy catch at square leg off the same bowler. Sese Bau found Naim again, while Hiri Hiri edged to the keeper. Shakib ended with a remarkable 4/9.
Doriga found the ropes a few times, but he only delayed the inevitable.
Bangladesh’s best Powerplay so far
Earlier, Bangladesh’s opening woes continued into the third match of the tournament, but Shakib and Liton Das ensured a recovery and the team’s best Powerplay of this World Cup.
Kabua Morea might have had a wicket on the first ball of the match, had the nick carried to the wicket-keeper cleanly. The left-arm pacer ensured he struck the very next ball, though, having Naim caught in the deep by a tumbling Bau after trying to flick one angled in at leg stump.
The second-wicket pair of Das and Shakib took about an over to get settled before both went over the ropes in a signal of intent. Das got on one knee to slog sweep over the fine leg boundary, before Shakib sent one over long-on.
The duo ran well in the heat to post 45/1 in the Powerplay. However, those two sixes were among only three boundaries with the fielding restrictions in place.
Shakib denied a fifty
After all pace in the Powerplay, the introduction of spin got the next three wickets for PNG in the middle overs, even as their fielders did their bit in preventing partnerships from building.
Vala broke the second-wicket stand with his first delivery. Das’ slog sweep was caught in the deep as Bau ran in from the boundary to claim a good low catch.
Mushfiqur Rahim made good connection to the left-arm spin bowling of Simon Atai, but found the fielder at deep backward square.
Shakib himself fell to an excellent diving catch in the deep by Amini. Having just hit a one-handed six down the ground, he reached at a wide delivery, only for Amini to pull off a blinder in the long-on region.
Mahamud Ullah goes big
At a time when boundaries were hard to come by, skipper Mahamud Ullah sent the fourth ball he faced sailing over the long-on ropes.
Chad Soper, who struggled to nail both the short balls and yorkers, got smacked for two sixes and a four as Mahamud Ullah brought up his fifty in just 27 balls.
However, he fell right after, caught in the deep off a full toss from Ravu. Afif Hossain and Mohammad Saifuddin added valuable runs at the death, giving Bangladesh just the boost their campaign needed.>> Click here to view Full Scorecard