Rampant Tigers thru’ to Super 12s
Brushing off any lingering uncertainty about an early exit, Bangladesh sealed a Super 12 berth after a big 84-run win over Papua New Guinea in their final game of the first round of the ICC T20 World Cup at the Al Amerat Cricket stadium in Muscat yesterday.
After falling to a shock defeat to Scotland in their opening game, the equation was simple for Bangladesh. The clash against Papua New Guinea was a must-win encounter but the Tigers would have to keep an eye on the net run rate and the result of the game between Oman and Scotland in mind.
Bangladesh needed to make a statement to the world and the Tigers did exactly that, posting their highest T20 World Cup score of 181 for seven.
Star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan shone brightest once again, scoring 46 off 37 balls before returning magnificent bowling figures of four wickets for nine runs from four overs.
The 34-year-old's four-wicket haul also saw him reach 39 wickets in 28 games, equaling Pakistan's Shahid Afridi -- who played 34 matches -- as the leading wicket-taker in T20 World Cup history.
Papua New Guinea were thoroughly outmatched by the Bangladeshi bowling and were reeling on 29 for seven before being eventually bundled out for 97 runs in 19.3 overs. Other than Kiplin Doriga's unbeaten 46 and Chad Soper's 11, none of Papua New Guinea's batters were able to reach double figures.
Mohammad Saifuddin also had a good outing as his six-ball cameo with the bat yielded 19 runs before he returned with the ball to claim two wickets for 21 runs.
Bangladesh came out with positive intent, knowing the questionable batting approach from the previous games needed to be resolved.
Although Naim Sheikh fell without troubling the scorers after Mahmudullah Riyad elected to bat, Shakib and Liton Das reached a healthy 45 for 1 in the Powerplay.
However, Liton departed after scoring 29 off 23 balls while Mushfiqur Rahim, coming in at number four, continued his poor run and departed for five runs. Shakib and Mahmudullah then ensured the tempo would stay high.
A tired Shakib later departed after a 37-ball 46 which included three sixes, but Mahmudullah led from the front to score the fastest fifty in the ongoing round, taking just 27 balls.
Afif Hossain also scored a handy 14-ball 21 before Saifuddin conjured the late blitz the Tigers had been missing in the previous two games as the last over yielded 20 and the final five led to 68 runs.