Saturday, July 20, 2024

T20 World Cup 2024 | Bangladesh book Super Eight spot after win over Nepal

Kingstown (Saint Vincent), June 17: Pacer Tanzim Hasan Sakib’s career-best figures of 4 for 7 with an astounding 21 dot balls headlined Bangladesh’s dominant bowling performance as they entered the Super Eights of the T20 World Cup with a comfortable 21-run win against Nepal in their final group league game.
Having nearly shocked South Africa in their previous game, Nepal bowlers were again on target, bowling out Bangladesh for 106 but Tanzim along with seasoned Shakib al Hasan (2/9) and Mustafzur Rahaman (3/7) bowled out Nepal for 85 in 19.2 overs.
Nepal were on course at 78 for 5 at one stage before losing their last five wickets for seven runs as a determined Bangladesh team used all its reservoir of experience after a disappointing batting show.
Bangladesh should have won the match when Nepal were reduced to 26 for 5 after seven overs courtesy the right arm outswing specialist Tanzim but Kushal Malla (27) and world record holder Dipendra Singh Airee (25) added 52 runs to raise visions of a first big win for the country against a major Test playing nation.
But as it happens with ICC’s Associate Member nations, the batters with little exposure of facing quality bowling didn’t know what to do with an experienced player like Mustafizur.
Needing 22 off 12 balls, ‘The Fizz’ was an artist at work as he bowled his customary slow off-cutters, which would pitch on middle stump and cut across the right hander.
Airee, who holds the world record of fastest T20I fifty off 9 balls and only third cricketer after Yuvraj Singh and Kieron Pollard to hit six sixes in an over, understood the difference of facing a world class operator to plundering runs against Mongolia and Qatar.
Mustafizur didn’t even let Airee lay bat on ball during the five deliveries that also had a slow bouncer. He got Airee off the last delivery.
In fact, four among the last five Nepalese batters failed to open their accounts with the fifth remaining not out without troubling the scorers.
“Very happy the way we played this round. I hope we can continue with our bowling performance and hope that our batting performance will be fine in the next round,” Bangladesh skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto said at post-match presentation ceremony.
The skipper wasn’t happy that none of the Bangladeshi batters could even cross 20 but has confidence that his bowling unit can defend any totals.
“We have everything. All the fast bowlers have worked really hard in the last two or three years. In this format, the bowling unit is very important and I hope they continue their form. We have to plan for the next round and execute our plans,” he said.
As far as Nepal skipper Rohit Paudel is concerned, he conceded that inexperience became their undoing.
“As a batting unit, we could have done better, especially the top order batters. We could have batted tighter. Bangladesh bowled really well with the new ball and we were under pressure after that. They were asking us challenging questions,” a dejected Paudel said at post-match presentation ceremony.
“Top order batters could have done better and taken more responsibility. We need to step up, need to know where to score runs and how to assess conditions,” the skipper said as he promised the ardent fans of a better show in the coming tournaments.
Sri Lanka save their best for last, Beat Netherlands by 83 runs
Sri Lanka ended their winless run in the T20 World Cup 2024 with an 83-run win over Netherlands in St. Lucia on June 17, Monday. Charith Asalanka and Kusal Mendis scored 46 runs each as Sri Lanka posted 201 runs in their innings, becoming only the second team to post a 200-plus score in this year’s tournament. Netherlands had come into the contest with a slim hope of making it to the Super 8s but their fate also depended on the Bangladesh vs Nepal clash.
The Netherlands, after winning the toss and opting to bowl first, got off to the perfect start when Kingma was able to dismiss Pathum Nissanka for a duck in the very first over. The Dutch were hoping to pile on the pressure but Kamindu Mendis and Kusal Mendis steadied the ship with a 39-run stand before the former was dismissed for 17. Kusal and Dhananjaya de Silva then took the scoring rate up during their partnership. Kusal scored 46 off 29 balls before he was dismissed in the 12th over, but the platform was set.
Dhananjaya and Asalanka continued the onslaught as the former scored 34 off 26 balls before heading back to the pavilion. Asalanka looked to be in fine nick as he scored 46 off 21 balls and hit 5 sixes in his knock as the Dutch bowlers struggled to stop the run flow.
Van Beek provided some respite with two wickets off consecutive deliveries to end Asalanka’s stay and dismiss Shanaka for a duck. But, Angelo Mathews and skipper Wanindu Hasaranga ensured Sri Lanka had a big finish.
Hasaranga hit 20 off 6 balls as the Netherlands were given a target of 202. However, they needed to win the game in quick time to stand any chance of qualifying. There was added pressure as Bangladesh were dominating Nepal with the ball after posting just 106 runs.
Michael Levitt was aggressive from the start and scored 31 off 23 balls with a couple of boundaries and 3 sixes. But wickets kept tumbling for the Netherlands as they looked to chase the target in record time. The bowlers led by Hasaranga chipped away the wickets and by the 9th over, the dreaded news came in for Dutch fans.
As Sybrand Engelbrecht departed, Bangladesh in St. Vincent secured a 21-run win against Nepal and secured passage into the Super 8s and knocked out the Netherlands. The Dutch were left playing for pride but none of the batters could hold fort and were reduced to 99 for 8 in the 15th over.
Captain Edwards provided some resistance with 31 runs in the end, but the innings came to an end at 118 in the 17th over. Pathirana was the pick of the bowlers with 2 wickets for 12 runs in his 3 overs.
For Sri Lanka and Hasaranga, the match was the end of a wretched campaign in all respects. The team didn’t perform well with bat and ball in the matches against South Africa and Bangladesh, something Mahesh Theekshana alluded to.
The Nepal game was completely washed out due to rain in Florida, and they got knocked out. Off the field, the players were left unhappy with the scheduling for the side. Sri Lanka ended up playing at 4 different venues in the group stages and Hasaranga had expressed his displeasure at this as well.
This was his first major tournament as the skipper of the former champions and he would be happy that a win was secured in the end and they signed off on a high. The aim for Sri Lanka will now be another rebuild and it will start with India touring them in July. (PTI/AFP)