Bowlers do the job
Bangladesh's bowling proved to be too good for the UAE last night at Mirpur as the hosts bounced back from their defeat against India in the first match with a 51-run victory against the ICC Associate member country to stay alive in the Asia Cup T20.
Like their previous game against Sri Lanka, the UAE bowlers once again worked well in favourable conditions to restrict the Tigers to 133 for eight, but the Bangladesh bowling showed their prowess to dismiss them for 82. The momentum Mahmudullah Riyad gave the team during the batting was brilliantly backed up by the pacers, who simply killed UAE's hopes of causing an upset.
Once again Taskin Ahmed generated good pace to give his team a decent start, but he was unlucky in the first over as Soumya Sarkar dropped Rohan Mustafa at second slip. However, like the first match, Al-Amin Hossain provided the first breakthrough by removing Mohammad Kaleem in the second over.
Then Mustafizur Rahman came to the party with his off-cutter but his return catch was disallowed after the third umpire decided that the ball had touched the ground, although it was not a clear-cut decision. The batsman however failed to capitalise on his luck, hitting a full delivery outside off from captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, to the safe hands of Mustafizur.
Mashrafe took another important wicket -- that of Shaiman Anwar -- before Mustafizur all but settled the issue by taking two consecutive wickets in the eighth over, both with his famous off-cutter. Losing half their wickets for 36 runs, UAE were then left to bat for respectability.
For all the excellence of the bowlers, they must thank Riyad for giving them a total to defend. Riyad executed a fine paddle past the fine-leg fence off the very first ball of the final over and then the right-hander slog-swept spinner Mustafa for six over midwicket, resulting in a total of 17 runs coming from the last over. Bangladesh ended the first session with momentum on their side through Riyad's 27-ball 36, though at one stage 160 looked like a reality.
Some clean hits from opener Mohammad Mithun in his otherwise erratic batting display provided the home side an opportunity to post a big total as Bangladesh reached 74 for two after 10 overs. But after Mithun's ridiculous run out, the two most experienced batsmen in Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan were not able to take charge.
Mushfiqur was dismissed for 4 after playing eight balls as UAE stormed back into the match. He tried to hit a short and wide delivery from Mohammad Naveed through point, but only succeeded in nicking it to the keeper. A streaky innings from Shakib soon ended in ungainly fashion when he was bowled by a stump-high full toss from Amjad Javed.
Mithun however was in a position to carry the Bangladesh batting to a big total after a shaky start. The right-hander was the top scorer in Bangladesh's innings with a 41-ball 47 but his dismissal -- if not the shaky nature of his innings -- raised many eyebrows. When he was required to stick around, Mithun set off for a run aimlessly as if he was playing street cricket and was promptly run out.
Mithun could have gotten out off the very first ball when he fished at a delivery outside off. Fortunately, the ball went along the ground to slip. Mithun had another reprieve as he was dropped on 10, trying to clear mid-off. However he played some magnificent shots to enthral the crowd.
He dispatched a short delivery from Amjad with disdain and then thrashed a delivery outside off through the gap at point for four. Later, his timing was on full display as the right-hander flicked Shahzad into the stands behind midwicket in majestic fashion. The next one was a poor delivery from Shahzad and Mithun punished it for four with a flick.
The other opener, Soumya Sarkar, also looked to get rid of his long bad patch and struck a monster hit over square leg to regain the form he displayed during the ODI contests last year, but off the very next ball he hit uppishly straight to mid-on off Shahzad, walking back with 21 runs.
The in-form Sabbir Rahman also struggled and was dismissed for 6 off 12 balls. Mustafa tossed the ball up on middle and leg and Sabbir came down to clout it, but the ball only reached as far as a few metres inside the midwicket fence where Fahad Tariq took an easy catch.
UAE bowled with some bite on the sporting wicket, but it was again the Bangladesh batting which lacked sensibility and firepower. Riyad's finishing touch was brilliantly aided by the pacers to paper over the cracks and finish the match on a happy note.
SCORES IN BRIEF
BANGLADESH: 133 for 8 in 20 overs (Mithun 47, Soumya 21, Riyad 36 not out, Shakib 13; Naveed 2-12, Javed 2-34)
UAE: 82 all out in 17.4 overs (Mustafa 18, Shahzad 12, Usman 30; Mustafizur 2-13, Mashrafe 2-12, Mahmudullah 2-5, Shakib 2-20, Taskin 1-24, Al-Amin 1-8)
Player-of-the-match: Mahmudullah Riyad