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 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.

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).

Dan Christian has been added to Australia's preliminary squad for the white-ball tours of West Indies and Bangladesh along with uncapped pacemen Wes Agar and Nathan Ellis.

The selectors announced an initial party of 23 to face the Windies and the Tigers, featuring a number of players who played in an Indian Premier League that was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.

They have now added Christian, Agar, Ellis, Ben McDermott, Cameron Green and Ashton Turner.

All-rounder Christian, 38, and wicketkeeper-batsman McDermott will end spells in England with Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire respectively to fly home and complete the mandatory two-week quarantine period before the final squad's scheduled departure for the Caribbean late in June.

Christian has not played for his country since October 2017, while Agar and Ellis will be hoping to make their international debuts.

Promising all-rounder Green made his ODI bow against India last December, while Turner has featured in the 50-over format six times and played 11 Twenty20 Internationals.

Confirmation of the tours are subject to agreement on bio-security arrangements and relevant government approvals.

West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite was a happy man on Thursday upon hearing the news that his team is now sixth on the ICC Test rankings, up from eighth following improved performances against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in recent months.

Promising West Indies batsman, Kyle Mayers, has expressed confidence at the prospect of becoming a top international Test cricket all-rounder, on the back of encouraging displays with both the bat and ball in recent months.

The attacking-minded Mayers burst on the scene with a stroke-filled 210 unbeaten in the first Test against Bangladesh, in February of this year.  However, against Sri Lanka last month, the player also had a good turn with the ball.  Not only extracting movement from a placid pitch but taking four wickets in the process, with just a short spell.

The display prompted some pundits to suggest that the player had the ability to become a dependable all-rounder for the squad if he could improve his overall fitness.

Bowling would not have been entirely new to Mayers, however, as he was at one point considered more of a bowling all-rounder, having claimed 71 wickets in 30 first-class matches at an average of 21.54.  Having displayed more prowess with the bat in recent months, Mayers is convinced that he can do both at the highest level in the mold of former West Indies captain Jason Holder, or England’s Ben Stokes, the world’s top-ranked all-rounders.

“I have it in me to do it.  I just have to become fitter,” Mayer’s told SportsMax’s The Commentators podcast.

“I just started Test cricket and people think watching it on tv, it’s very easy, it’s very hard.  I will always say that, and I will always let young people coming up know that if you want to play Test cricket you need to work very hard,” he added.

“Preparation is key for me to be up there with Jason.  It will take that hard work, but I believe I can do it for sure.  Having number one and maybe number two in the world can’t be so bad.  If they had two of the world’s best all-rounders the guys would be happy.”

 Catch full interview in the Podcast below

 

 

Legendary West Indies captain, Clive Lloyd, believes that the fighting spirit and professional display that led to a 2-0 series win, in Bangladesh, has spread to the rest of the team.

So far, the general consensus is that the regional team has, at times, been fairly impressive in the ongoing series against Sri Lanka.  They battled to a 2-1 win in the T20 series, but then swept the visitors aside in a confident display during the One Day International series.

Lloyd believes some of that confidence stems from the performance of the Kraigg Brathwaite unit, which was understrength and underestimated heading to last month’s tour of Bangladesh but battled to a surprise 2-0 Test series win.

“I believe it is because of the way our players played in Bangladesh, that it trickled down.  They put their head down and batted intelligently and won,” Lloyd told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“It galvanized those other guys to do the same.  We had 274, 270-odd and we looked good.  We batted well. (Things were tighter) in the T20s but we won out because we are getting that professional attitude back and that I think it is because of the guys winning in Bangladesh.”

The team will look to take the momentum into the two-match Test series, which will get underway on Sunday.

 

 

 

Of all the important partnerships that Joshua Da Silva featured in during the West Indies successful Test series against Bangladesh, there was one that the Trinidadian wicketkeeper-batsman said he enjoyed the most.

Nkrumah Bonner’s outstanding Test debut against Bangladesh saw him being awarded the Man-of-the-Series at the conclusion of the second and final Test in Dhaka on Sunday.

Kraigg Brathwaite has praised his team for their discipline and resilience following the West Indies’ thrilling 17-run victory over Bangladesh today that sealed a 2-0 series win.

Chasing 231 with more than four sessions to play, Bangladesh were bowled out for 213 with less than 10-minutes to go on the penultimate day of the match. Rahkeem Cornwall was the hero of the piece taking 4-105 and nine-wickets in the match.

Brathwaite, who captained the team following the withdrawal of Jason Holder and several senior team members, said the victory was due to a collective effort from a group of players, who were not expected to win.

“People wrote us off. But we kept it simple, enjoyed it, and we proved them wrong,” said the proud captain afterwards.

“I would say it's a team effort. The one-day team not doing well, but we wanted to here. We had a plan, enjoyed it, and happy to win the series.”

The Barbadian opener, who had scores of 47 and 6 in the match, perhaps his biggest contribution with the ball taking 3 for 25 including the openers Tamim Iqbal for 50 and Soumya Sarkar, who enjoyed an opening stand of 59 that threatened to wrest the match from the West Indies.

“I wasn't surprised with my wickets of the openers,” he said, “wanted to come on, keep it tight. Nice, it's a series win in Asia since 2012.”

He expressed his gratitude for being selected to lead the team and how the players responded to his leadership.

 “Very thankful to God for the opportunity to captain West Indies. (The) boys stuck to their plans, they were very disciplined. Very proud of the boys. Means everything back home. Cricket means everything to us. People will be proud,” he said.

Man-of-the-math Rahkeem Cornwall took four wickets today, spurring West Indies to a nail-biting 17-run against Bangladesh inside four days to sweep the closely fought Test series 2-0.

West Indies spinner, Rahkeem Cornwall, has already made a massive contribution with the ball after claiming five wickets against Bangladesh on day three of the second Test but has already targeted having a say with the bat as well, should he get the opportunity.

Cornwall, who has previously shown himself to be a good striker of the ball, particularly in the cricket's shortest format, is yet to translate any of that skill in recent Test team call-ups.  In five innings so far, Cornwall has a high of 10 runs, which he scored against England in July.

In Bangladesh, Cornwall, batting far down the order, scored 2 in the first innings of the first Test and ended without scoring in the second.  He added 4 not out in the first innings of the second Test.  If he is called upon, for Saturday’s fourth day, the bowler could be looking to free his arms for a useful total.

“Once I get the opportunity I would always love to contribute with the bat,” Cornwall said following day three.

“I don’t think my batting ability is showing at the moment, but I think runs are around the corner for me.  I just have to keep putting in the work with the coaches and when my opportunity comes I make good use if it.”

Spinner Rahkeem Cornwall claimed a five-for to put the West Indies in a strong position but Bangladesh struck back immediately to leave the second Test delicately poised at the end of the third day.

By the final session of the day, the West Indies had dismissed the hosts for 296 to begin the second innings with a 113-run lead.  However, they ended the day at 41 for 3, having lost captain Kraigg Brathwaite (6), John Campbell (18), and Shayne Mosely (7) before long.

The West Indies captain was the first casualty, miscuing a shot off Nayeem Hasan, which caught the top of his gloves before being taken by wicketkeeper Liton Das.  Shayne Moseley then departed after edging to second slip, in the process becoming Mehidy Hasan’s 100th Test wicket.  Brathwaite’s opening partner Campbell was then dismissed in bizarre fashion, with the ball spinning back off the ground to hit the stumps after he had attempted to play a defensive stroke.

Earlier, Das and Mehidy, who got together before lunch, played out a crucial session after the break – with the team still over fifty short of avoiding the follow-on and looking at one point like they would have headed in that direction.  Eventually, the two accounted for a valuable 126-run partnership and looked set to potentially cause even more severe damage.

Cornwall, however, ensured it would not be the case.  Having earlier removed both captain Mominul Haque (21) a confident-looking Mushfiqur Rahim (54) and Mohammad Mithun (15), earlier, he put an end to the partnership after removing Das.  The batsman took the dreaded walk after getting an edge off an attempted paddle, for 71.  Cornwall added No. 9 Nayeem Hasan to complete his tally.  It was pace bowler Shannon Gabriel who accounted for Mehidy after an attempted drive.

Cornwall ended the innings with figures of 5 for 74, while Gabriel ended with 3 for 70.  Nkrumah Bonner (8) and Jomel Warrican (2) will be the batsman resuming the day at the crease for the West Indies on the fourth day.

 

Fast bowling great Sir Curtly Ambrose believes some West Indies players who opted out of the tour of Bangladesh could come to regret their decisions not to go because of how well the team is performing there.

West Indies fast bowler, Alzarri Joseph, is confident that he will eventually get to triple digits after another close miss against Bangladesh on Thursday.

The 24-year-old racked up an impressive 82 from 108 balls, as part of staunch mid-lower order resistance, en route to the Windies posting a satisfactory first innings score of 409.  In the end, Joseph’s aggressive innings was ended when he was caught by Liton Das as he attempted to pull away Abu Jayed.

His total proved a handy one for the team, who will count any runs from the bowler as a huge bonus.  For Joseph, however, a player who prides himself on his batting, it was the second time he was coming close to making his first Test century.

Against New Zealand, in December, Joseph put together a commendable 86, which remains his highest score to date.

“It’s disappointing not to get 100 but I’ve been working hard on my batting, so there will be other opportunities to get that total,” he added.

“When I came to the crease it was just to spend some time and support Josh (Joshua Da Silva) at the crease."

Together Joseph and Da Silva put together an important 7th wicket partnership.

 

  

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