Bangladesh has kept alive their hopes of advancing to the Super 12 stage of the ICC T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. They defeated Papua New Guinea by 84 runs in their final Group B match in Oman. Bangladesh made somewhat of slow start to their innings after winning the toss and opting to bat first. By the eighth over, they had lost both openers, Mohammed Naim and Liton Das, and by the 11th over, Papua New Guinea had reduced them to 72 for three.
Shakib Ul Hassan and captain Mahmudullah, however, took the fight to their opponents. Dispatching them to all parts of the ground, the experienced Shakib scored 46 runs from just 37 deliveries while the skipper led from the front – smashing a half century from just 28 deliveries. Afif Hossain’s 21 from just 14 balls and Mohammad Saifuddin’s 19 from just six deliveries in the dying overs, helped lift Bangladesh’s total to an impressive 181 for seven in their 20 overs.
Chasing down the big total was always going to be a tall order for Papua New Guinea, who are making their debut in the world cup. Sadly for the Pacific islanders, they made a dismal start. None of their top-order batsmen even managed to get into double figures as Bangladesh’s bowling attack assumed control of proceedings. Shakib was the pick of the bowlers. He took four wickets for just nine runs in his four overs to help reduce their opponents to 29 for seven by the 11th over.
He joins Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi as the leading wicket taker in T20 World Cups – with 39 scalps. Papua New Guinea was eventually bowled out for 97 in the final over – handing Bangladesh an 84 run victory – their biggest win in T20 Internationals. Every game we’re playing gets us into more confidence. Obviously it was a setback, the first game, but in the T20 format the team that is better on the day wins. But now the pressure is off and we can play expressively,” says Shakib UL Hassan. Bangladesh now has one foot in the Super 12 stage of the tournament, but their fate depends on their net run-rate and the result of the final group match between Scotland and hosts Oman.