Dirk Nannes ripped the heart out of Bangladesh’s chase with 4-18, ending their T20 World Cup in a 24 run Australian win.
Australia’s convincing win cemented their place, and ensured last year’s embarrassing first round T20 World Cup exit will not be repeated. Bangladesh’s defeat means the defending champions Pakistan, who would likely have been the Group A losers on net run-rate, also progressed to the Super Eights, thus ending Bangladesh’s World Cup.
But the match wasn’t as straight forward as the score-line suggests: Bangladesh were eyeing an upset as their spinners had Aussie heads spinning, reducing them to 65-6 in the 13th.
The characteristically belligerent openers were done in by extra bounce and the spinners suffocated the middle order; too many departing batsmen with strike-rates on the wrong side of 100. In fact, among the top six, only David Warner had a strike rate in excess of 80 (his 16 coming from 11 balls).
However, Man-of the Match Michael Hussey and Steven Smith consolidated, belting 74 runs to propel Australia to 141-7 in a stunning comeback which doubled the total in the final seven (breaking a ten over boundary drought in the process). Bangladesh had reason to be hopeful though, having restricted Australia to an achievable target despite the resurgence of Hussey and Smith.
But any hope of a Bangladesh Super Eight berth was cut down by Nannes, with support from speedster Shaun Tait (removing Imrul Kayes in the first over) who together left Bangladesh reeling at 15 for 4. Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim gave the Bangaldesh innings some respectibility with their 48-run stand, but when Al Hasan fell for 28 in the 11th with the side at 63-5, Bangladesh’s chances evaporated.
They scraped out a further 51, reaching 114 thanks to cameos from Jahurul and Shafiul Islam (18 and 16 respectively) but never looked like threatening the Australian total.
Australia 141-7 (20 overs)
Michael Hussey 47*, Steven Smith 27, Shakib Al Hasan 2-24
Bangladesh 114 all out (18.4 overs)
Shakib Al Hasan 28, Mushfiqur Rahim 24, Dirk Nannes 4-18
Australia won by 24 runs
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