On a tough pitch to bat on, the visitors slipped to a 23-run defeat chasing a modest 132 for victory
Bangladesh 131 for 7 (Shakib 36, Naim 30, Hazlewood 3-24, Starc 2-33) beat Australia 108 (Marsh 45, Nasum 4-19, Mustafizur 2-16, Shoriful 2-19) by 23 runs
Bangladesh recorded their first T20I victory against Australia in five attempts by defending 131 with the help of their frontline spinners who picked six wickets in 12 overs for just 65 runs.
Australia flounder against spin
Mahedi and Shakib both struck with their first balls and Nasum struck with his fourth, leaving Australia reeling on 11 for 3 after 13 balls. Mahedi got one to slide in from around the stumps and beat Carey’s cut to shatter his stumps.
Next over, Josh Philippe was stumped trying to drive Nasum through the covers. And Moises Henriques’ sweep off Shakib had the ball go between his legs and hit the stumps.
The two Ashtons – Agar and Turner – tried to stitch partnerships with Marsh but Bangladesh broke through again. Agar was hit-wicket trying to flick Nasum, and Turner sliced a catch to extra cover off Mustafizur Rahman.
Marsh looked to change gears in between, and although a few boundaries did come, he perished looking to slog sweep. From 84 for 6, it looked like Australia might struggle to reach three digits but they just about got there, courtesy Mitchell Starc’s 14, before being shot out last ball.
Hazlewood leads bowling effort
Barring Mohammad Naim’s two sixes off Starc early on, it was all Australia in the opening stages of the first innings. Hazlewood nearly had Naim chopping onto the stumps, and would soon account for Soumya Sarkar as the left-hand batter backed away to cut but ended up playing on.
Shakib and Naim then carefully saw off the powerplay, in which Bangladesh scored only 33. Naim impressed by not giving into temptation by chasing deliveries too wide but was bowled for 30 trying an uncharacteristic reverse sweep off Adam Zampa in the seventh over.
Although Shakib and Mahmudullah enjoy playing spin, Zampa and Agar did not give them much room. Bowling stump to stump, and with a little turn on offer, the batters kept getting the occasional boundary but the run rate hovered under six.
When a change in gears was imminent after 12 overs with eight wickets in hand, Hazlewood removed both senior batters. First, Mahmudullah sliced a slower ball to mid-off on 20, and then Shakib also chopped on in Hazlewood’s next over as he finished on 3 for 24 in his four, with three overs left in the innings.
Afif’s crucial cameo
Afif walked in at No. 6 with Bangladesh’s run rate still under six. With Shakib and Shamim Hossain – who had successfully finished games with his blitzy performances in Zimbabwe – both falling, Afif was the last recognised batter in the death overs.
He began by clobbering Hazlewood to the long-on boundary, and then cracking a lofted cover drive off Starc. In between, he pushed his batting partners for doubles, even if it wasn’t him getting on strike, which added a few crucial runs. He would then end by reverse scooping Starc over the keeper in the final over, and although he fell off the last ball, his knock pushed the hosts to over 6.50 an over.