AFP: Usman Khawaja hit a quick-fire half-century to help Australia to a thrilling three-wicket victory against Bangladesh in their World Twenty20 clash in Bangalore on Monday.
The left-handed opener smashed 58 off 45 balls as Australia successfully chased down Bangladesh’s total of 156 for five.
The victory puts Australia’s bid for a first ever World T20 trophy back on track after the top-ranked Test side lost to New Zealand in their opening match.
The 29-year-old Khawaja whacked seven fours and one six before he was bowled by Al-Amin Hossain in their Super 10 Group Two match.
Australian batsman Usman Khawaja plays a shot during the World T20 cricket tournament match between Australia and Bangladesh at The Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on 21 March.
Khawaja, born in Pakistan, and Shane Watson put on a solid 62-run opening partnership before the veteran all-rounder was run out for 21.
Bangladesh’s string of bowlers mounted a spirited attack against the Aussies, after suffering a devastating blow when Taskin Ahmed and Arafat Sunny were suspended for illegal bowling actions at the weekend.
Skipper Steve Smith was bowled for 14 by Mustafizur Rahman and David Warner was caught and bowled for 17 by Shakib Al Hasan. Glenn Maxwell was stumped for 26 off 15 balls.
James Faulkner hit the winning runs with nine balls to spare.
Bangladesh, demolished by Pakistan in their first group match, are now unlikely to qualify for the semi-finals, sitting at the bottom of their group with two matches left to play.
After Australia won the toss and elected to field, Mahmudullah top scored for the Tigers, striking an aggressive unbeaten 49, that included seven fours and one six.
Seasoned T20 campaigner Shakib also chipped in with 33 off 25 balls, as Bangladesh desperately tried to notch up their first points in the group stage.
Shakib struck three fours and one six before being caught by Nathan Coulter-Nile off Adam Zampa for the fifth wicket.
Spinner Zampa, 23, spearheaded the Australian bowling attack by taking three wickets, his first in T20 internationals, while Watson claimed two.
Right-hander Mohammad Mithun struck a tidy 23 off 22 balls before being caught by Watson at deep midwicket off Zampa.
Opener Soumya Sarkar was caught for one trying to slash a Watson delivery, only for Maxwell to take a strightforward catch at point.
Sabbir Rahman scored 12 off 17 balls before Faulkner took a diving catch off a Watson delivery in the sixth over at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Shuvagata Hom, rushed into the side as one of the replacements for Taskin and Sunny, was lbw to Zampa for 13.
Bangladesh now play India on Wednesday also in Bangalore, while Australia take on Pakistan on Friday in Mohali.
Mahmudullah not out 49
Mushfiqur Rahim not out 15
Extras (lb 7, w 3) 10
Total (for 5 wickets, 20 overs) 156
Did not bat: Mashrafe Mortaza, Al-Amin Hossain, Saqlain Sajib, Mustafizur Rahman
Fall of wickets: 1-2 (Soumya), 2-25 (Sabbir), 3-62 (Mithun), 4-78 (Shuvagata), 5-105 (Shakib)
Bowling: Coulter-Nile 4-0-21-0, Watson 4-0-31-2, Hastings 3-0-24-0, Marsh 1-0-12-0, Maxwell 1-0-12-0, Zampa 4-0-23-3, Faulkner 3-0-26-0
Usman Khawaja b Al-Amin Hossain 58
Shane Watson run out 21
Steve Smith b Mustafizur 14
David Warner c & b Shakib 17
Glenn Maxwell st Mushfiqur b Shakib 26
Mitchell Marsh c Shakib b Mustafizur 6
James Faulkner not out 5
John Hastings c Soumya b Shakib 3
Peter Nevill not out 1
Extras (lb 2, w 4) 6
Total (7 wickets; 18.3 overs) 157
Did not bat: Nathan Coulter-Nile, Adam Zampa
Fall of wickets: 1-62 (Watson), 2-95 (Smith), 3-115 (Khawaja), 4-119 (Warner), 5-135 (Marsh), 6-148 (Maxwell), 7-152 (Hastings)
Bowling: Mortaza 1-0-9-0, Mahmudullah 2-0-22-0, Al-Amin 2-0-14-1, Mustafizur 4-0-30-2, Shakib 4-0-27-3, Saqlain 3.3-0-40-0, Shuvagata 2-0-13-0
Bangladesh urge ICC to lift Taskin ban
Reuters: Bangladesh have appealed to cricket’s world governing body to lift the suspension on paceman Taskin Ahmed, who was ruled out of the ongoing World Twenty20 in India due to an illegal action.
Taskin and left-arm spinner Arafat Sunny were suspended from bowling in international cricket on Saturday after being reported by match officials following Bangladesh’s qualifying match against the Netherlands in Dharamsala on 9 March.While Sunny’s elbow extension for the majority of his deliveries exceeded the 15-degree limit, not all of Taskin’s balls were found to be legal, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said while announcing their suspensions.
“We are not convinced about Taskin as of now. We don’t have any reason to be satisfied with the report,” Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hassan told reporters. “And that’s disappointing, so we have appealed to the ICC.
“They are going to sit down with a team of legal experts and will inform us of their decision as soon as possible.”
Bangladesh, who came through the qualifiers to reach the Super 10 stage, lost to Pakistan in their opening Group Two match last Wednesday and next face Australia in Bangalore on Monday.
India and New Zealand are the other teams in the pool with the top two advancing to the semi-finals.