Bangladesh end Australia losing streak with strong start to T20I series

By Sports Desk August 03, 2021

Australia suffered their first T20I defeat to Bangladesh on Tuesday as Nasum Ahmed inspired the hosts to 23-run victory in the first game of the five-match series.

Solid knocks from Mohammad Naim (30) and Shakib Al Hasan (36) set the tourists a target of 131 after they won the toss and elected to field.

Mitchell Marsh continued his strong form from the tour of the West Indies with 45 from as many deliveries, but Nasum's 4-19, which included the wickets of Marsh and stand-in captain Matthew Wade (13), helped Bangladesh to a winning start in their bid for first back-to-back multi-game T20I series victories.

Australia, who finished on 108 all out after Mitchell Starc fell on the final delivery, have now won only one of their past seven T20I matches.

Shakib, bidding to become the first Bangladesh batsman to record 10 scores of 50 or more in T20I contests, got to within 14 runs of that milestone when he was skittled by Josh Hazlewood (3-24).

Shamim Hossain managed just four runs before Starc's full delivery found leg stump, but Afif Hossain led a late charge, three fours taking him to 23 off 17 balls before falling to Starc in the final over.

Australia's chase began in ignominious fashion as Mahedi Hasan's first delivery to Alex Carey smashed into the stumps. Josh Philippe and Moises Henriques then followed in quick succession, the latter succumbing to Shakib's opening ball.

Wade and Marsh took some sting out of the Bangladesh attack, a stand of 38 ending when the Australia captain's sweep was caught by the grateful Mustafizur Rahman at short fine leg.

Ashton Agar endured an embarrassing end to his knock, sticking a boot into his own stumps after scoring seven from 12 deliveries, as Australia's hopes diminished.

Nasun leads the charge

Bangladesh's total looked a realistic target for Australia, especially given their previous perfect record against these opponents.

However, they simply did not look like mounting a challenge once the first three wickets fell for 11 runs as Bangladesh's bowlers, Nasun in particular, made sure the conditions worked in their favour.

"It was outstanding, the hunger and energy was there," said captain Mahmudullah. "The bowlers executed their plans really well. You need to have an attacking mindset with the ball early on; that's what we did."

Starc contrast

Starc claimed the final two wickets of Bangladesh's innings to reach 50 in T20Is. He is the first Australian to register a half-century in this format and two clear of previous all-time leading wicket-taker Shane Watson.

That had put Australia in a good position to chase down a relatively modest total, but Marsh was the only man to score 15 or more as they struggled badly against the spin attack on a challenging surface.

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