DHAKA: Left-arm spinner Nasum Ahmed claimed a career-best 4-19 as Bangladesh successfully defended a moderate 131-7 to beat Australia in the first time in Twenty20 Internationals on Tuesday.

Australia were bowled out for 108 in 20 overs in the first of five T20s at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, their lowest total against Bangladesh in the shortest format.

Left-arm pacers Mustafizur Rahman and Shoriful Islam took two wickets apiece to complement Nasum and secure a memorable Bangladesh victory in the first bilateral series between the two sides with Australia winning their four matches against Bangladesh in T20 World Cups.

Failing to deal with the spinners cost Australia. Shakib Al Hasan, another left-arm spinner, and off-spinner Mahedi Hasan also played their part, taking a wicket each.

Mitchell Marsh, who struck three half-centuries in five matches against the West Indies, was the only Australian to sustain any resistance. He made a run-a-ball 45 before being sixth man out.

The combination of Nasum, Shakib and Mahedi reduced Australia to 11-3 in the third over.

Mahedi broke through with the first ball to dismiss Alex Carey, Nasum got Josh Philippe stumped for 9, and Shakib accounted for Moises Henriques before Marsh got going.

With Shakib and Mahedi denying Australia a flow of runs, Nasum ripped through the middle order in a gem of spin bowling.

Marsh kept the visitors’ hopes alive with calculated aggression, and his confidence grew after hitting Shakib for six. Marsh was undone in Nasum’s last over when he went for a slog-sweep, and Australia’s chances effectively went with him.

Put into bat, Shakib top-scored for Bangladesh with 36 off 33 balls, and opener Mohammad Naim struck a 29-ball 30, clobbering two fours and as many sixes. Afif Hossain added an unbeaten 23 off 16, while Mahmudullah hit 20.

Naim flicked Australia speedster Mitchell Starc for a six over midwicket with a cracking shot in the second ball of the innings.

Starc’s new ball partner, Josh Hazlewood, broke through with the wicket of Soumya Sarkar (2), and Naim was removed by leg-spinner Adam Zampa.

Shakib and Mahmudullah played with caution but failed to rotate the scoreboard rapidly.

Hazlewood (3-24) broke the partnership, dismissing Mahmudullah with a knuckle ball.

Hazlewood also took the crucial wicket of Shakib when he appeared set to pace the scoreboard.

Starc got a couple of tailenders but Afif Hossain held up one end to help the side go past 130.

Scoreboard

BANGLADESH:

Mohammad Naim b Zampa 30

Soumya Sarkar b Hazlewood 2

Shakib Al Hasan b Hazlewood 36

Mahmudullah c Henriques b Hazlewood 20

Nurul Hasan c Marsh b Tye 3

Afif Hossain b Starc 23

Shamim Hossain b Starc 4

Mahedi Hasan not out 7

EXTRAS (B-1, LB-1, W-3, NB-1) 6

TOTAL (for seven wkts, 20 overs) 131

FALL OF WKTS: 1-15, 2-37, 3-73, 4-86, 5-104, 6-114.

Did not bat: Mustafizur Rahman, Nasum Ahmed, Shoriful Islam.

BOWLING: Starc 4-0-33-2 (1w); Hazlewood 4-0-24-3 (1w); Zampa

4-0-28-1; Tye 4-0-22-1; Agar 4-0-22-0.

AUSTRALIA:

A.T. Carey b Mahedi 0

J.R. Philippe st Nurul b Nasum 9

M.R. Marsh c Shoriful b Nasum 45

M.C. Henriques b Shakib 1

M.S. Wade c Mustafizur b Nasum 13

A.C. Agar hit wkt b Nasum 7

A. Turner c Mahmudullah b Mustafizur 8

M.A. Starc b Mustafizur 14

A.J. Tye c Naim b Shoriful 0

A. Zampa c Afif b Shoriful 0

J.R. Hazlewood not out 2

EXTRAS (LB-2, W-7) 9

TOTAL (all out, 20 overs) 108

Fall of wkts: 1-0, 2-10, 3-11, 4-49, 5-71, 6-84, 7-100, 8-102, 9-104.

BOWLING: Mahedi Hasan 4-0-22-1 (1w); Nasum Ahmed 4-0-19-4 (1w); Shakib Al Hasan 4-0-24-1 (1w); Mustafizur Rahman 4-0-16-2 (1w); Shoriful Islam 3-0-19-2 (1w); Mahmudullah 1-0-6-0.

RESULT: Bangladesh won by 23 runs to lead five-match series 1-0.

UMPIRES: Sharfuddoula Saikat (Bangladesh) and Masudur Rahman (Bangladesh).

TV UMPIRE: Gazi Sohel (Bangladesh).

MATCH REFEREE: Neeyamur Rashid (Bangladesh).

PLAYER-OF-THE-MATCH: Nasum Ahmed.

SECOND MATCH: Dhaka, Thursday (5:00pm)

THIRD MATCH: Dhaka, Friday (5:00pm PST).

FOURTH MATCH: Dhaka, Saturday (5:00pm PST).

FIFTH MATCH: Dhaka, Monday (5:00pm PST).

Published in Dawn, August 4th, 2021

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