Bangladesh live to fight another day after coming out on top in the must-win encounter against Oman in the fourth Group B match in Round 1 of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.
Favourites to top Group B ahead of the tournament, Bangladesh found themselves in a must-win situation in order to remain in contention to qualify for the Super 12 stage of the tournament.
Counter-attacking innings from Mohammad Naim and Shakib al Hasan after two early wickets ensured Bangladesh put up a challenging total on board. Naim, who got a couple of reprieves, made Oman pay with a half-century on his T20 World Cup debut.
With the ball, Bangladesh wrestled control back after Oman started brightly in the first 10 overs. Needing 84 to win off the last four, the co-hosts faltered at a crucial juncture in the game and eventually fell short by 26 runs as the Tigers put their first points on board.
Oman start strongly despite Mustafizur’s twin strikes
Defending 154 to stay in the tournament, Bangladesh bowlers were wayward at the start of the innings, giving away nine extras in the first two overs. Mustafizur Rahman made up for it with the wicket of Aaqib Ilyas in the second over, trapping him plumb in front of the stumps.
Jatinder Singh and Kashyap Prajapati made full use of the fielding restrictions and kept the scoreboard ticking. Prajapati survived two dropped catches, with Mustafizur Rahman and Mahmud Ullah at fault for the chances. However, Mustafizur returned for the last over of the Powerplay and scalped Prajapati for 21, redeeming himself after the dropped catch.
Jatinder Singh continued to attack even after the first six overs, hitting Shakib for a six and a four off consecutive balls.
Bowlers keep Bangladesh in the tournament
Oman’s chase was derailed after the drinks break with two wickets falling in two overs. Mahedi Hasan broke the 34-run stand between Jatinder Singh and Zeeshan Maqsood with the Oman skipper holing out in the deep to a great diving catch by Mustafizur.
In the very next over, the pendulum swing Bangladesh’s way when the well-set Jatinder Singh timed the slog sweep to perfection but straight to the hands of Liton Das at deep square leg.
A couple of quiet overs from Bangladesh bowlers pushed the asking rate over 10 for the last five overs. With the pressure mounting, Oman buckled and lost three wickets in the next two overs, with Sandeep Goud, Ayaan Khan and Naseem Khushi all departing for single-digit scores.
Back into the attack, picked up two more wickets and eventually finished with figures of 4/36. Oman batted out the 20 overs but fell short by 26 runs after it looked at one point that they would be cruising to a win.
Top-order lets Bangladesh down
Earlier in the day, Bangladesh skipper Mahmud Ullah won the toss and chose to bat first in a must-win clash for the Tigers. Momentum on their side after the first win, the Oman bowlers were breathing fire in the opening stages, beating the bat on several occasions.
They finally reaped the rewards when a peach of an inswinger from Bilal Khan trapped Liton Das in front. Initially ruled not out by the umpire, Oman decided to review and replays showed that it was pad first. The three reds spelt doom for Liton Das, who was saved by the DRS in the previous over.
Mahedi Hasan walked in at No.3 but Bangladesh’s decision to promote him did not go to plan. Hasan was sent in to tonk the ball in the Powerplay, but was done for pace by Fayyaz Butt who completed a stunning catch off his own bowling.
It was another disappointing display from the top-order batters as they limped to 29/2 at the end of the Powerplay.
Oman fielders undo great work from bowlers
Oman bowlers were on top of their game but were let down by their fielders. Mohammad Naim, who was drafted into the playing XI for the game, got two lifelines in two overs: The first time he was dropped by Jatinder Singh, who parried the ball over for a six, then by Kashyap Prajapati.
Riding their luck, Bangladesh managed to revive the innings, as they went into the drinks break at 63/2. The three overs after the break were very fruitful for Bangladesh as it fetched them 35 runs, with Naim and Shakib both taking the attack to the Oman bowlers.
It took a moment of brilliance from Aaqib Ilyas whose direct hit caught a well-set Shakib short of his crease. Nurul Hasan’s stay at the crease didn’t last long as he holed out in the deep to Sandeep Goud.
Mohammad Naim, at the other end, punished Oman for dropping two catches off his batting, getting to a half-century with a thumping four. Unfortunately, with wickets falling at the other end, he was running out of partners and got out trying to accelerate the scoring.
Oman were brilliant in the death overs, giving away just 33 runs while scalping six wickets to skittle Bangladesh out for 153. Fayyaz Butt and Bilal Khan were the pick of the bowlers with three wickets each while Kaleemullah picked two.
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