Bangladesh sealed another clinical victory over Australia as they beat the visitors by five wickets in the second match to go 2-0 up in the five-match T20 International series at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka on Wednesday.
Bangladeshi bowlers again staged a remarkable performance with the ball as they successfully restricted Australia to 121-7 in 20 overs before Afif Hossain (37 off 31 balls) and Nurul Hasan (22 off 21 balls) put up an unbroken 56-run stand to guide the Tigers home, 123-5, with eight balls to spare.
Both the openers – Soumya Sarkar and Mohammad Naim earlier had to walk back to the pavilion after getting their stumps uprooted by Starc and Hazlewood respectively.
Shakib (26) smashed Starc for three successive boundaries in the first three balls he faced in the innings to release some initial pressure and he and Mahedi (23) added 37 runs for the third wicket to take Bangladesh halfway through to their chase.
However, Australia bowlers bounced back with three quick wickets to leave Bangladesh struggling at 67-5 from 58-2 and kept their hopes alive in the match. However, Afif, who made a crucial knock of 23 off 17 balls in the first match and Nurul batted brilliantly afterwards which gave the visitors hardly any chance to make a comeback in the match.
Afif, who survived on one by taking a review after Mitchell Marsh’s ball pitched outside leg before hitting his pad, grabbed the opportunity well and provided Bangladesh with a match-winning knock.
Earlier, Australian batsmen replicated the same ordinary batting effort which they did in the first match of the series and apart from Marsh and Moises Henriques, none of the other batsmen could contribute for the visitors for the successive game.
Shakib bowled Henriques to break the stand while pacer Shoriful Islam dismissed Marsh in quick succession to bring the hosts back in the match.
Pacer Mustafizur Rahman (3-23) gave a double blow in the 18th over by removing Matthew Wade and Ashton Agar in consecutive deliveries while Shoriful (2-27) got his second wicket after making Ashton Turner caught at cover.
Australia could only make 31 runs from the last five overs with losing four wickets to finish with a total that they never previously could defend in a T20I match.
The third match of the series will take place on Friday at the same venue.