Tigers wrap up series with thumping win
Bangladesh ended the series as they began, dominating proceedings with the ball as they condemned Australia to their lowest-ever T20I score of 62 all out to clinch the five-match series 4-1 with Shakib Al Hasan cleaning up the tail.
The 60-run victory under lights at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium yesterday was also the Tigers' second-largest T20I victory in terms of runs.
It was a historic series win for the Tigers in what was their first bilateral T20I series against the Aussies. Having taken an unassailable lead in the series by winning the first three T20Is at Mirpur, Bangladesh reasserted their dominance in yesterday's fifth T20I after the minor blip of losing the fourth on Saturday.
The Tigers dedicated their maiden T20I series win over Australia to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family members who embraced martyrdom this month in 1975.
Having arrived on the back of a 4-1 T20I series defeat to West Indies, the visiting Australia side managed to scrape a single win against the Tigers in the fourth T20I, largely succumbing to the slow wicket and Mustafizur Rahman's cutters making the difference between the two sides.
But having once again restricted the home side to a manageable target yesterday, the Aussie reply this time was calamitous.
Defending a modest score of 122 for eight, the Bangladesh spinners once again set the tone early. Nasum Ahmed removed Dan Christian, sent to open the innings, out bowled in the second over. A crucial blow followed in the left-arm spinner's next over, the fourth of the innings, when in-form Mitchell Marsh looked to go across the line, only to be trapped leg-before and unable to overturn the decision.
Skipper Matthew Wade had two powerful sixes off Mahedi Hasan as he looked to dominate but Shakib cleaned up his castle in the seventh over with a delivery that rushed through and under Wade's pull-shot. With the skipper gone after a run-a-ball 22, the Australia innings would crumble to a heap thanks largely to Shakib's four-wicket haul.
During a turbulent phase of bowling and in the space of 40 deliveries, Australia lost eight wickets, adding just 24 runs, falling to their lowest ever T20 score – 17 runs short of their previous worst of 79 all out against England in 2005.The Aussies, who left Dhaka for home later in the night, would be looking to forget the series as quickly as they can.
In his first match of the series, Mohammad Saifuddin picked up three wickets with Alex Carey and Moises Henriques departing in the 11th over to scores of three.
Ashton Turner gave Shakib his second wicket of the match, providing a dolly of a catch to mid-off as the ace all-rounder notched the unique record of becoming the first ever player to take 100 wickets and score 1,000 runs in T20Is. Shakib, playing in his 84th T20I, has already scored 1,718 runs in the format and before the match was two wickets shy of the feat.
Shakib bagged two more wickets in his last over -- the 14th of the innings -- removing Nathan Ellis and Adam Zampa to finish with four for nine as Australia were bowled out for 62.
Earlier, Bangladesh's batting continued to flounder after the hosts won the toss, only managing 122 for eight.
Australia picking four spinners in the line-up, including leg-spinners Zampa and Mitchell Swepson, should have worked in the visitors' favour but early on in the innings it had the opposite effect as the Tigers got off to their best start of the series.
Mahedi swept Turner through square leg for four in the first over before Mohammad Naim dispatched Agar through midwicket for six as early momentum belonged to Bangladesh. The duo took leggie Zampa for 14 runs in the third over as the left-right opening combo showed promise of a good total.
Following an economical Ellis over with just two runs coming off it, Australia made the breakthrough in the fifth over, breaking the 42-run opening stand as Mahedi found a Turner delivery bouncing a bit more than he expected and too close to pull. The resulting shot only led to Mahedi's bat flying off while the ball looped to the man at midwicket to see the right-hander depart for a 12-ball 13.
Despite the wicket and Ellis then bowling another economical over, conceding just three runs, Bangladesh reached 46 for one in the Powerplay.
The Tigers would throw away all that with a lamentable batting display later on. Aussies realised that their slower cutters were having an effect and brought in Christian, who removed Naim for a run-a-ball 23, following a poor reverse paddle. Shakib, lacking fluency, fell prey to Zampa, out leg-before next over after a 15-ball 10 as Bangladesh reached 60 for three after 10 overs.
Skipper Mahmudullah added vitality to the Tigers' innings having come in at number five with Soumya struggling to time his shots at the other end. Mahmudullah got into gear quickly, picking his scoring shots regularly, including a six off Agar.
But once he departed, scoring 19 off 14, the Tigers were reduced to 91 for four in 14 overs. Soumya, having accelerated with a six and four, holed out at long-off trying to clear Christian over the ropes.
Afif Hossain began brightly, hitting a six over cover as the Tigers finished the 15th over on 102 for five. The last five overs produced just 20 runs as the hosts lost three more wickets.
Agar, Zampa, Ellis and Christian bowled intelligently to keep the runs down with even the in-form Afif struggling to get the slower deliveries away. Nurul Hasan (8) and Afif (10) departed to Ellis and Mohammad Saifuddin was run-out without facing a delivery as a boundary from Mosaddek Hossain in the final over saw the Tigers reach 122 for eight.