T20 World Cup 2021: Bangladesh make it to Super 12 with 84-run win over PNG


Al Amerat: Bangladesh recovered from their opening game loss to Scotland as they thrashed Papua New Guinea by 84 runs to enter the Super 12s of the ICC T20 World Cup here on Thursday.

Batting first, Bangladesh scored 181 for 7 with skipper Mahmudullah making 50 off 28 balls and Shakib Al Hasan contributing 46 off 37 balls. In reply, Papua New Guinea could manage only 97 runs with Shakib picking up 4/9 from his four overs.

Electing to bat, Bangladesh lost opener Mohammad Naim (0), courtesy a stunning catch by Sese Bau at deep-square leg. Liton Das (29) and Shakib rallied the innings with their 50-runs second wicket stand. Bangladesh then lost the momentum but thanks to Mahmudullah, who brought them back into contention.

Mahmudullah hammered three maximums and as many boundaries as his knock helped the ‘Tigers’ to rebuild as 68 runs were added in the last five overs.

Chasing 182, Papua New Guinea was never on-course for a comfortable chase. They lost openers Lega Siaka (5) and skipper Assad Vala (6), cheaply, as they slipped to 13/2. It was a procession for PNG batters, as Shakib, the wily-old fox, snared two wickets in the 5th over, as Bangladesh was eyeing a massive victory after reducing the opposition to 14/4.

While Shakib scalped another two, he was well complimented by young off-spinner Mahedi Hasan (1/20), as the inexperience of PNG batters came to the fore and they were reduced to 29/7. The lower order did resist the inevitable but by then Bangladesh had booked their Super 12s berth.

“Obviously, it was a setback, the first game (vs Scotland), 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,” Shakib, who was adjudged ‘Player of the Match’, said after the game.

“It’s not an easy format to get back into form, but luckily I’m getting more chance to bat up the order. A little tired, I’ve been playing non-stop cricket for the last five-six months, it’s been a long season for me. But hopefully, I can pull this tournament off,” he sounded confident.

Skipper Mahmudullah, who himself played a captain’s knock was happy to see the intent of his players in the last two games which they won convincingly.

“I think it was much-needed. The way that we wanted to play, the intent was there from the batters. Having said that I think the wicket was better in comparison, so the batters did well to get 180,” Mahmudullah said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

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