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Surviving by the skin of the teeth of Aussies

Surviving by the skin of the teeth of Aussies Saleque Sufi

Bangladesh Vs Australia Played at Oval Bangladesh 182 All Out in 44.3 Overs (Tamim Iqbal 95, Shakib Al Hasan 29, Mehedi Hasan Miraz14, M Starc 4/29, A Zampa 2/13), Australia 83/1 in 16 overs ( D Warner40*, S Smith 22*).

Match Abandoned due to Rain. Points Shared.

Also Read - A point critical for us: Mashrafe

Bengal Tigers withstood Starc tsunami by the skin of the teeth with rain giving them reprieve. What a poetic justice! If rain rescued Australia in the match against New Zealand it definitely deprived Australia in the match against Bangladesh yesterday at Oval.

Opting to bat first on a rain threatening day, Bangladesh had to encounter a very hostile and high quality Australian bowling attack. Bangladesh was bundled out for 182 in 44.3 overs.

Australia resuming after rain interruption, could bat for only 16 overs. They were cruising 83/1 when rain again washed out the match. Only another 4 overs were required for the match to be decided on Duckworth & Lewis method. But that never happened. Teams shared points.

In ICC world cup 2015, the group match between the same two teams at Brisbane was abandoned without a ball being bowled. That advantaged Bangladesh qualifying for quarter finals off course through knocking out England in a very important match. Untill now in the group of death no team has yet confirmed a place in the knock out round.

Various permutations and combinations may see any two of the four moving up. Another possible rain ruined match today between England and New Zealand may make the equation more interesting.

The fate of the one of the top favorite Australia now hangs in a balance. With 2 points out of two abandoned matches, Australia, must win its last group match against host England.

For Bangladesh the equation is a bit complex with any of the several scenarios emerging.

  • England beating both Australia and New Zealand, and Bangladesh winning against New Zealand.
  • Bangladesh beating New Zealand and England losing both the matches (NRR).
  • Bangladesh beating New Zealand, England loose to New Zealand but Australia (NRR).

The group of death is really very tricky now. Ironically favorite Australia bowled and fielded exceedingly well on the day night match suffocating free flowing Bangladeshi batsmen with hostile and accurate pace bowling of Josh Hazelwood, Pat Cummins and Starc and spin of Head.

None but prolific Tamim was at all comfortable playing the quality Aussie bowling. Soumya Sarkar, after playing and missing few, was removed by Hazelwood, caught behind. Imrul Kayes fell to Cummins. Starc bowling at pace did not find any swing early on and was replaced by spinner Head. He bowled tight length and line.

Bangladesh was put into real test when Mushfiqur was adjudged LBW to Henrique. The decision if reviewed could have gone in favor of the batsman as on replay it showed clear bad pad.

Out of form Shakib Al Hasan appeared to find his touch. On the other hand, Tamim well set by this time started playing his natural game. Shakib was dropped by Maxwell early on. He played few good strokes. But when LBW to Head Bangladesh at 122/4 was still in the game if someone could stay with Tamim. But neither Sabbir nor Mahmudullah could do that failing to the leg spin of Zampa brought in late in the attack by Smith.

In the meantime, terrific Tamim was alone ploughing in the sand. He entertained his compatriot non-resident Bangladeshis with many delightful strokes. Unfortunately, when all were expecting another century from this proud Chittagonian, Starc returning to the attack made him play a hook which was held well by Hazelwood. Tamim scored 95 in 114 deliveries with 4 scorching boundaries and 3 aggressive sixes.

Teenager Mehedi Hasan Miraz was looking good. But Starc delivering his customary toe crashing fast innings wining Yorkers struck deadly blows one after another. Mashrafe and Rubel were blown away in the wink of an eye. Last four wickets could add only 1 run in Starc storm.

Bangladesh could manage only 182. But with the storm came the rain as well. Other than Tamim only two other batsmen Shakib (29) and Mehedi (14) could reach double figures. Tamim alone scored over 50% of Bangladesh total.

Starc in a destructive final spell took 4/29, three of which were deadly Yorkers. Leg spinner Adam Zampa took 2/13. Rain interrupted Australian innings started after the break. On a wicket where Aussie bowlers dominated Bangladeshi bowlers looked unimpressive.

When rain intercepted Australia was cruising at 83/1 in 16 overs. Warner was batting on 40 and Smith on 22. Rubel took the wicket of Aaron Finch trapping him in front at 19. All Australia required was another 4 overs. But heaven opened up. The match was rained out with teams sharing points.

It will be poetic injustice if Australia with such a team of all round ability fail to go through the possibility cannot be ruled out. Bangladesh can pull through a surprise with a not unexpected last match win against New Zealand. But for that, team management would require serious brain storming and perfect match strategy.

Till now very little have been seen of that. England plays New Zealand today at Cardiff. Rain may impact today as well. The equation may change again based on what happens today. Rain really played its part in the group of death so far.

What Can Bangladesh Do? Bangladesh has five left handers in the team that played yesterday. Four of them are in the top order and Mustafizur Rahman in the tail. Common sense says making left and right combinations often makes it difficult for bowlers to adjust line and length.

Bangladeshi batsmen were struggling yesterday to come in terms with Aussie attack early on. After Soumya Sarkar left, the smart decision could be promoting Mushfiqur Rahim or Mahmudullah to bat with Tamim Iqbal. Kayes could bat at four.

Team must have plan B for adjusting to circumstances. Mosaddek was dropped for accommodating Miraz. Perhaps that was not also correct. Kayes was not required in the match.

When Shakib is struggling with batting and bowling middle order batting needs strengthening. It was a good sign that Shakib showed glimpses of recovery yesterday.

What may be the ultimate outcome Bangladesh must go all out for winning against New Zealand even to sign off positively? For that batting bowling and fielding must click in integration. How badly Bangladesh is missing one Nasir Hossain?

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