Australia is in grave danger of losing a fifth consecutive T20 international series after going down 2-0 with a five-wicket loss to a “smarter” Bangladesh after another poor hitting performance in Dhaka.
Chasing Australia’s 121-7 score, Bangladesh lost ground at regular intervals and fell to 67-5 in 12th in Wednesday’s second international match. But an unbroken position in the sixth wicket of 56 between Afif Hossain (37 of 31 balls) and Nurul Hasan (22 of 21) secured the hosts another victory in the five-game series with eight balls to spare.
Australia have lost seven of their last eight and 13 of their last 18 T20I games and, once again, their fragile hitting was the biggest problem. Mitchell Marsh (45 of 42) was Australia’s top scorer for the second day in a row, matching his total from the first game in which Australia was sent off by 108 and lost by 23 runs.
Since being promoted to No. 3 last month, Marsh has been fired less than 30 once in seven T20I innings against the West Indies and Bangladesh. But again he lacked support with only Moisés Henriques (30 of 25) circling for a long time in a third place of 57, bringing the score to 88-2.
That was the best for Australia, who lost 5-18 on some bad shots against an attack that mixed their rhythm well. After the spinners did most of the damage in the first game, it was Bangladesh’s left arm rapids Mustafizur Rahman (3-23) and Shoriful Islam (2-27) who enjoyed the most success, although the use of cutters and slower balls by the first one was very effective.
“We have to find a way in a very short turnaround time to combat that and try to get as many runs as possible,” Henriques said. “It’s pretty clear it’s not going to be a 160 or 180, 200-run wicket, but we have yet to find a way to get a few more, whether it’s 140, 150, whatever, we just need to hurry a little bit.”
Australia passed 24 balls without limits near the end of their innings. “To be honest, I thought they were actually a little bit smarter than us,” Henriques said. “It probably helps that they may have played possibly in the monsoon season here on this terrain.
“They have the advantage of having played here so many times, but many of their bowlers turned at less than 80 km / h, that does not mean that it is going to be successful all the time.
“It’s just in these conditions against our hitters that they’re probably used to facing faster spinners, it’s a big change for us, so we have to find a way to combat that as smartly as possible as a hitting team.”
Australia needed early terrain and pacemakers Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood each pitched the first in their second overs to leave Bangladesh 21-2 in the fourth.
Mahedi Hasan (23 of 24 and Shakib Al Hasan (26 of 17) added 37 for the third wicket, before Australia’s bowlers hit the stumps again in successive overs. Al Hasan was thrown by AJ Tye and the captain Mahmudullah had his stumps disturbed by Ashton Agar Mahedi Hasan was stumped by leg player Adam Zampa, but after losing 3-9, Bangladesh stabilized and knocked out Australia with a match-ensured pair.
The series continues on Friday.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism