DHAKA (Agencies): It was a nightmarish end to a tough tour for Australia. As if losing the series wasn’t enough, in the final T20I, they lost 8 for 24 to collapse to 62 all out in a chase of 123. This was their lowest total across limited-overs cricket. It meant Bangladesh took the series 4-1 in Dhaka.
Shakib Al Hasan, who nabbed his 100th T20I wicket on the way, led with a haul of 4 for 9, with Mohammad Saifuddin grabbing 3 for 12 as Bangladesh choked Australia, not for the first time, with spin.
Naim, Mahedi take off…
Bangladesh decided to open with Mahedi Hasan in place of regular opener Soumya Sarkar, and the move paid off. Along with Mohammad Naim, he ensured the hosts walloped 33 off the first three overs, all bowled by the spinners. Matthew Wade first went to Ashton Turner’s part-time offspin, then to Ashton Agar and finally to Adam Zampa, before introducing pace in the fourth over through Nathan Ellis.
… before Ellis, Christian stall Bangladesh
Ellis and Dan Christian pulled things back as Bangladesh managed only 32 off the next eight. Crucially, they lost three wickets in that passage to be placed at 65 for 3 at the end of 11 overs. Australia perhaps picked three frontline spinners in the hope that the slowness off the surface and the turn would help apply the brakes, but Ellis reaped the rewards for tight lines, delivering four dots amid a heap of slower deliveries.
Christian was then introduced immediately after the powerplay, and he used the angle from wide of the crease to good effect, stifling both Naim and Shakib with his slower variations. These two were instrumental in sapping Bangladesh of any momentum towards the end, they managed just 20 off the last five. Christian finished with 4 for 33.
Saifuddin, Nasum round off hosts’ dominance
Left-arm spinner Nasum Ahmed’s twin blows within the first four overs meant Australia were on the back foot straightaway. Christian, promoted to open after clobbering Shakib for five sixes in an over two nights ago, was foxed by Nasum’s skidder. In the fourth over, in-form Mitchell Marsh was trapped plumb in front trying to sweep.
Saifuddin then killed the chase when he arrived in the middle overs to first fox Alex Carey off a slower ball. As if that was not enough, two balls later, Moises Henriques tickled one behind to the wicketkeeper while trying to run one down to third man. And after Shakib delivered his maiden, Saifuddin got Agar, who was castled after trying to step down and slog one away.
Shakib gets to a century of wickets
On his way to those magical figures, Shakib became just the second bowler to reach a hundred wickets in T20Is after Lasith Malinga.
He wasn’t introduced until the seventh over, but struck off his second ball when he dismissed Wade with an arm ball that knocked back his off pole.