Dubai: The Australia-Bangladesh game on Thursday was being looked upon as a good opportunity for Aaron Finch’s men to boost their run-rate and increase their chances of going through as the second team from Group 1. However, not many were really expecting it to end soon after the powerplay either.
The short and sweet contest at the Dubai International Stadium lasted all of 22 overs – nearly half of it’s duration – and this gives you an idea of how one-sided the contest was.
Australia, who reached their target with 82 balls to spare, moved to second position of the table with six points and will be taking on West Indies in their last group game on Saturday. The Proteas, on the other hand, will be up against group toppers England – giving Aaron Finch’s men a better chance to moving to the last four from here.
An abject batting performance by Mamudullah’s men, which neither saw the intent not the skill sets to make a match of it against such a quality attack, meant they were all out for 73 in 15 overs. It was hard to believe that this was the same team which had humbled Australia 4-1 in a T20 series at home earlier this year – albeit the dust bowl at Mirpur Stadium in Dhaka is often credited for such a one-sided verdict as their spinners ran riot there.
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What really went wrong with Bangladesh’s campaign in the ongoing tournament? A helpless skipper Mamudullah, often criticised throughout the tournament for his soft approach towards leadership and refusal to promote himself in the batting order, was hard pressed to explain such a campaign where they lost all their five Super-12 matches.
Grilled by a demanding media from his country, the skipper’s refrain was that the team was still trying to find their feet in T20 format and the reasons behind such a disaster was as shocking to him as well. An explanation which was not really tenable given the fact that a number of their leading cricketers like Shaikb Al Hasan, Mustafizur Rehman or senior opener Tamim Iqbal – who made himself unavailable for selection – had been plying their trade in franchise cricket for quite sometime.
A look at the Bangladesh batting card reflects the lack of application in building up a decent total to challenge the mighty Australians. While Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood struck the early blows, leg spinner Adam Zampa caused the maximum damage on a good batting surface and the Bangladesh wickets kept on falling in regular intervals.
An inexplicable batting performance from a team which had been playing international cricket for a long time and had been a full Test playing nation for over last two decades. They have had the odd moments of glory like a quarter final finish in the 2015 ICC World Cup in England or a close runners-up finish in the continental Asia Cup, but a decent white ball title still continues to elude them.
Their record in the T20 format, admittedly, has been poor. What purpose has then the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) served for their country’s cricket – one is tempted to ask!