Monday, 28 November, 2022

Tigers off to good start

  • Samsul Arefin Khan From Hobart
  • 25 October, 2022 12:00 AM
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Tigers off to good start
Bangladesh’s Taskin Ahmed (second right) celebrates with teammates after taking a wicket against Netherlands during their ICC men’s T20 World Cup 2022 match at Bellerive Oval in Hobart, Australia on Monday. – BCB PHOTO

Bangladesh ended their 15-year-long wait to win a main event match of the ICC T20 World Cup as they defeated Netherlands by nine runs in their opening match of the tournament at Bellerive Oval in Hobart, Australia on Monday.

In an overcast condition in Hobart where there was a high chance of abandonment of the Group 2 Super 12 clash, Bangladesh got what they were aiming to achieve in the last six editions of the T20 World Cup and won a main tournament match finally in the seventh attempt.

Despite not being able to put up a decent total on board after they were asked to bat first by Netherlands, Bangladesh bowlers and fielders showcased a brilliant performance and bowled the opposition all out for 135 runs in the last ball to end their 23-match losing streak in the main event.

Pacer Taskin Ahmed was the star of the show as he finished with a career-best 4-25 while another pacer Hasan Mahmud claimed 2-15 while two of the Dutch batters were dismissed by two brilliant throws by Bangladeshi fielders.

Earlier, Afif Hossain (38 off 27) and Mosaddek Hossain (20 off 12 not out) came as saviours for Bangladesh as their two crucial knocks helped the Tigers post 144-8 in their 20 overs.

Taskin nearly did a Chaminda Vaas (hat-trick in the first three balls of an innings) in the game after he picked up two wickets in the first two balls in Netherlands innings that gave the confidence back to the Tigers.

The right-arm pacer removed Vikramjit Singh (0) and Bas de Leede (0) in successive deliveries before his next ball was played for three runs by Colin Ackermann, who later made the highest 62 off 48 balls in the match only in the losing cause. The next two wickets were taken through brilliant fielding efforts by Afif Hossain and Najmul Hossain Shanto from the boundary line that reduced Netherlands to 15-4 in the fourth over.

Ackermann then played a lone battle but wickets continued to fall from the other hand and the Dutch were reduced to 101-9 in 16.5 overs.

Netherlands’ number 11 Paul van Meekeren then smashed 24 off 14 balls to take the game to the wire but Soumya Sarkar removed him in the last ball of the innings that gave Bangladesh a big tonic at the start of the tournament.

Bangladesh earlier got off to a decent start as their openers Najmul (25) and Soumya Sarkar (14) put up a 43-run opening stand in five overs at the 20,000-capacity Bellerive Oval, where just only 2,000 spectators, mostly expatriate Bangladeshis, arrived to witness the game.

However, both the batters departed in space of six balls while Liton Das (nine) and Shakib Al Hasan (seven) and Yasir Ali (three) all were dismissed cheaply which forced Bangladesh reeling at 76-5.

Afif then put up a 46-run stand with Nurul Hasan Sohan (13) that helped Bangladesh cross the 120-run mark before Mosaddek played some exciting shots in the last overs that gave Bangladeshi bowlers something to defend which they did successfully at the end.

Bangladesh will play their next match against South Africa at Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday.

Rain robbed South Africa’s definite victory over Zimbabwe in the third Group 2 game at the same venue later on the day as the rain-curtained game finally ended without a result.

South Africa reached 51-0 in three overs while chasing a revised target of 64 runs in seven overs but rain forced the umpires to call off the game at 11:07pm local time. Zimbabwe earlier scored 79-5 in their stipulated nine overs.