Nasum leads Tigers to first T20I win against Aus
Left-arm spinner Nasum Ahmed ended with his career-best T20I figures to help Bangladesh defend a low total and register their first-ever T20I victory against Australia in the first T20I at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
Defending a modest total of 131 for seven, Bangladesh bundled out Australia for 108 as the Tigers won by 23 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series. It was also the lowest total ever defended by Tigers in the format.
Bangladesh started brilliantly with the ball as spinners Mahedi Hasan, Nasum and Shakib Al Hasan picked up a wicket each in the first three overs of the game, reducing Australia to three for 11 after just 2.1 overs.
Mahedi struck in the very first delivery of the innings, shattering the stumps of left-hander Alex Carey with an angling in delivery from around the wicket. Nasum then had Josh Philippe stumped in the next over before Shakib knocked off the stumps of Moises Henriques in the following over to ensure the Tigers roared back into the game after an average batting display.
Australia's trouble compounded when skipper Matthew Wade, following a 38-run fourth-wicket partnership with Mitchell Marsh, threw his wicket away while trying to sweep a wide Nasum delivery and ended up giving an easy catch to short fine leg.
However, Nasum provided the biggest blow when he had in-form Marsh caught in the 16th over. With Australia needing more than 10 an over, the right-hander tried to slog sweep Nasum but a spectacular running catch by Shoriful Islam ended Marsh's run-a-ball 45-run knock.
Nasum was the pick of the bowlers for the Tigers as the left-armer finished with career-best T20I figures of four for 19 in his four overs.
After Marsh's departure, it was just a matter of time before Australia were bundled out for their joint fifth-lowest total ever in T20s.
However, earlier, an average batting display saw Bangladesh end with a modest total in a slow Mirpur pitch.
Scores of 30 off 29 from Mohammad Naim, a run-a-ball 20 from skipper Mahmudullah Riyad and Shakib Al Hasan's 36 off 33 clearly depict the struggles of the Bangladesh batters to find boundaries and score quick runs.
Afif Hossain's 23 off 17 at the death did, however, help the Tigers hobble past the 130-run mark.
While Bangladesh batsmen suffered from a clear lack of firepower within their ranks, Australia pacers were quick to read the nature of a slow Mirpur pitch as they adjusted accordingly. Knuckleballs, slower bouncers and sly change of pace from the likes of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Andrew Tye made things tougher for Bangladeshi batsmen.
Bangladesh lost Soumya Sarkar early when the left-hander chopped one on to his stumps trying to make room off a short delivery from Hazlewood in the fourth over. Mohammad Naim, who started off promisingly by hitting two sixes off Starc, could not convert his start into something meaningful. The left-hander threw his wicket away when he misread the length of the ball while trying to reverse sweep leggie Adam Zampa in the seventh over.
Shakib and Mahmudullah kept ticking the scoreboard in the middle but could never accelerate. Both the experienced campaigners were deceived by Hazlewood's slower deliveries with Mahmudullah falling in the 13th over and Shakib in the 17th.
Bangladesh will face Australia in the second T20I of the series today at the same venue.