Monday, March 21, 2016

World Cup T20 : Australia vs Bangladesh

Its powerhouse Australia vs struggling Bangladesh today at Bangalore. Steve Smith won the toss & elected to field - more to do with checking the outfield & then chasing the score for bettering the run rate. For Bangladesh, the bowling unit is sadly depleted, with Taskin & Sunny ruled out for suspect action. They will have to bat out of their skin to pose a competitive total & then test the Aussies for spin.

The start was quite horrible, with Soumya Sarkar chasing a wide delivery from Watson to get caught at point with just 2 runs on board. Sabbir & Mithun tried to resurrect from there on, but Aussies were relentless. Wickets fell at regular interval, but the Bangladeshi batsmen kept ticking runs too, & by end of 15th over, it was 104 for 4, with experienced Shakib & hard hitting Mahmudullah on crease. The last five overs needed to yield some runs, but Shakib got out to a beauty from Zampa, as the spinner completed his quota with impressive figures of 3 wickets for 23 runs in 4 overs. However, Mahmudullah &  Mushfiqur combined well after that, piercing the field for some excellent boundaries, building 55 runs off just 4.4 overs. The 19th over produced 17 runs & the last over 12 runs, as they ended the innings with 156 runs on board for 5 wickets. It was unfortunate that Mahmudullah missed out on a well deserved 50 by just one run, making 49 unbeaten runs in just 29 deliveries. Decent total on board for the bowlers to play for.

Australia started their chase in cruise mode, as Khawaja & Watson, milked the bowling all around, gathering 51 runs in the power plays. Bangladeshi fielders were guilty of letting Watson off a skier, & Khawaja off a stumping, something they could ill afford in a match like this.
Finally the first breakthrough came, as Watson ran himself out, with the score at 62. At the other end, Khawaja, quietly brought up his 1st half century, off just 37 deliveries. However, the Bangladeshi bowlers kept pegging on with good deliveries & were rewarded with wickets at regular intervals. At end of 15 overs it was 121 for 4, Aussies needing 36 of 30 deliveries. With Maxwell & Marsh at the crease, it was like a walk in the park. While Marsh holed out, Maxi tore into the attack with fours & sixes at will, before getting stumped to a Shakib delivery. It was 148 for 6. And then, Hastings got a life, as Al Amin dropped a near  sitter, & then the wicket keeper missed a run out.... the fielding was letting Bangladesh down. Hastings eventually holed in the deep, with score at 152 for 7. Finally Faulkner eased all nerves, smashing the ball past extra cover, for the winning runs. Australia had put up their first points on the table. It was a hard fought win for them. Bangladesh had themselves to blame, with all those crucial lapses in the field, that costed them the game. Adam Zampa was adjusted the Man of the Match.