'First hour will be crucial' - WI spinner Cornwall insists team need solid start to final-day runs chase

By Sports Desk February 06, 2021

West Indies spinner, Rahkeem Cornwall, is looking for a solid first hour from set batsmen Kyle Mayers and Nkrumah Bonner, and the team battles to save the match against Bangladesh on the final day.

At stumps, the West Indies needed another 285 to overhaul the home team for victory.  Although it is the West Indies that holds the record for the highest fourth innings, which was 418 against Australia in 2002, few would bet on the current inexperienced campaigners going anywhere close.

With the team scoring below 250 in seven of its last 12 innings, the team could be forgiven to ensure that it simply did not lose the first test.  In order to secure a result, however, Cornwall believes the first hour of the final day will be crucial and looks to the batsmen continuing to stymie the Bangladesh bowling attack.

“Two guys are crease, set.  They just have to come out again tomorrow and start over again,” Cornwall said at the end of the day’s play.

“The first hour is going to be crucial and we can just take it from there.”

For his part, Cornwall has had a tidy bowling effort, claiming 3 for 81 in the second innings and 2 for 114 in the first.  

 

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    Australia suffered their first T20I defeat to Bangladesh on Tuesday as Nasum Ahmed inspired the hosts to 23-run victory in the first game of the five-match series.

    Solid knocks from Mohammad Naim (30) and Shakib Al Hasan (36) set the tourists a target of 131 after they won the toss and elected to field.

    Mitchell Marsh continued his strong form from the tour of the West Indies with 45 from as many deliveries, but Nasum's 4-19, which included the wickets of Marsh and stand-in captain Matthew Wade (13), helped Bangladesh to a winning start in their bid for first back-to-back multi-game T20I series victories.

    Australia, who finished on 108 all out after Mitchell Starc fell on the final delivery, have now won only one of their past seven T20I matches.

    Shakib, bidding to become the first Bangladesh batsman to record 10 scores of 50 or more in T20I contests, got to within 14 runs of that milestone when he was skittled by Josh Hazlewood (3-24).

    Shamim Hossain managed just four runs before Starc's full delivery found leg stump, but Afif Hossain led a late charge, three fours taking him to 23 off 17 balls before falling to Starc in the final over.

    Australia's chase began in ignominious fashion as Mahedi Hasan's first delivery to Alex Carey smashed into the stumps. Josh Philippe and Moises Henriques then followed in quick succession, the latter succumbing to Shakib's opening ball.

    Wade and Marsh took some sting out of the Bangladesh attack, a stand of 38 ending when the Australia captain's sweep was caught by the grateful Mustafizur Rahman at short fine leg.

    Ashton Agar endured an embarrassing end to his knock, sticking a boot into his own stumps after scoring seven from 12 deliveries, as Australia's hopes diminished.

    Nasun leads the charge

    Bangladesh's total looked a realistic target for Australia, especially given their previous perfect record against these opponents.

    However, they simply did not look like mounting a challenge once the first three wickets fell for 11 runs as Bangladesh's bowlers, Nasun in particular, made sure the conditions worked in their favour.

    "It was outstanding, the hunger and energy was there," said captain Mahmudullah. "The bowlers executed their plans really well. You need to have an attacking mindset with the ball early on; that's what we did."

    Starc contrast

    Starc claimed the final two wickets of Bangladesh's innings to reach 50 in T20Is. He is the first Australian to register a half-century in this format and two clear of previous all-time leading wicket-taker Shane Watson.

    That had put Australia in a good position to chase down a relatively modest total, but Marsh was the only man to score 15 or more as they struggled badly against the spin attack on a challenging surface.

  • England's tour of Bangladesh rescheduled for 2023 England's tour of Bangladesh rescheduled for 2023

    England's planned tour of Bangladesh, which was due to take place in September and October, has been postponed until March 2023.

    The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Bangladesh "mutually" came to an agreement for the rescheduling, according to the ECB.

    The ECB's statement on their official website on Tuesday said: "The England and Wales Cricket Board and the Bangladesh Cricket Board have mutually decided to reschedule the tour, which includes three One Day Internationals and three T20 internationals.

    "The tour is planned to take place in the first two weeks of March 2023, with three ODIs and three T20Is due to take place at the SBNCS, Dhaka, and the ZACS, in Chattogram."

    With both England and Bangladesh facing packed international calendars and the necessity for teams to stay in protected team bubbles or monitored environments, COVID-19 has been a driving force for the postponement.

    The decision means both sets of international stars could now also be available for the rearranged Indian Premier League, which restarts in September in the United Arab Emirates.

    Eoin Morgan's limited-overs side are still set to face Pakistan in two T20Is in October before the T20 World Cup begins in the UAE on October 17.

    Before the T20Is and T20 World Cup get underway, England play a five-Test series against India, with the first taking place at Trent Bridge on Wednesday.

    The hosts will be without Ben Stokes, who has decided to rest his injured finger and protect his mental wellbeing as he takes an indefinite break from cricket.

  • Bangladesh v Australia: Starc has all-time record in his sights as Wade leads in T20I series Bangladesh v Australia: Starc has all-time record in his sights as Wade leads in T20I series

    Australia will be aiming to preserve their 100 per cent record against Bangladesh in T20I action when a five-match series begins in Dhaka on Tuesday.

    Matthew Wade will captain Australia in place of Aaron Finch, who is to undergo surgery on a knee injury, while Steve Smith, David Warner, Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis are also not part of the touring squad.

    Pat Cummins is another notable absentee, though the visitors still boast a strong bowling attack that is set to be led by Mitchell Starc, who is on the brink of becoming his country's all-time leading wicket-taker in the shortest format.

    The left-arm paceman has 48 wickets to his name, putting him in a tie for top spot on Australia's list alongside former team-mate Shane Watson.

    Set to keep wicket as well as lead the team, Wade – likely to bat in the middle order, a role he seems likely to fill for the T20 World Cup later this year – understands the issues that come with taking on a dual role.

    "I'm obviously wicketkeeping, so the distance between the bowler and myself is a lot greater and that means there's a lot more responsibility on the individual," he told reporters.

    "When you come in and take over from someone it's just about giving the ability for those guys to really take ownership of their game and at the top of the mark, they need to execute."

    Bangladesh have some key figures missing too, including injured opening batsman Tamim Iqbal. As for Mushfiqur Rahim and Liton Das, they are not involved having failed to meet requirements for the bio-secure bubble agreed upon by the two respective cricket boards ahead of the series.

    Mushfiqur left the recent tour of Zimbabwe early for family reasons amid the COVID-19 health crisis and could not make the July 20 cut-off date.

    While they have lost all four previous T20I meetings between the countries, Bangladesh will recognise they are facing vulnerable opponents. Australia have lost each of their previous four series in Twenty20 cricket, a run that started after a 2-1 triumph over South Africa in February 2020.

    Bangladesh, meanwhile, have won three of their last four men's T20Is played at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, venue for all five matches.


    Marsh makes an all-round impact

    Mitchell Marsh excelled on the tour of the West Indies, finishing up as leading run-scorer in the T20 games (219 at an average of 43.80). However, his work with the ball was just as impressive in the Caribbean, claiming eight wickets while going at an economy rate of 6.76 runs per over. 

    The 29-year-old all-rounder has a bowling average of 10.1 in T20Is since the beginning of 2019, the best by any player from a Test-playing country in that time (minimum 10 overs bowled).

    Star Shakib needs to shine

    Bangladesh's batting line-up is weakened by the absences of Tamim, Mushfiqur and Das, meaning even greater responsibility could land on the shoulders of Shakib Al Hasan.

    The all-rounder is on the cusp of becoming the first player to record 10 scores of 50 or more for Bangladesh in T20I action. His batting average in the format against Australia (35.8) is his second best against any team, only managing better against Pakistan (41.7).

    Key series facts

    - Australia's 4-0 record against Bangladesh in T20I action is the most number of games they have played against any country without suffering defeat.

    - Bangladesh will be aiming to win back-to-back multi-game T20I series for the first time, after defeating Zimbabwe 2-1 in July 2021.

    - Australia have won only one of their last T20Is (L5), a four-run victory over West Indies in July 2021.

    - Bangladesh have scored 52 per cent of their runs from boundaries in T20Is since the beginning of 2019, the second lowest rate of any Test-playing country in that time (Sri Lanka: 45 per cent).

    - Australia have a bowling dot ball percentage of 37 per cent in T20I fixtures since the beginning of 2019, the highest rate of any Test-playing country in that time and two percentage points higher than Bangladesh (35 per cent).

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