Like Sri Lanka on Thursday, Bangladesh were given a scare by UAE before their efficient bowling attack led the hosts to an easy win in Mirpur. Mahmudullah’s last-gasp effort with the bat and two wickets were backed up by Mustafizur Rahman and Mashrafe Mortaza. Their wickets shook the opposition’s confidence to a point from which they never recovered.
The win keeps the hosts alive in the Asia Cup, but they would have liked a more comfortable path to picking up the two points. They collapsed from 72 for 1 in the tenth over to 133 for 8, and it was their bowling that proved to be too strong for a spirited UAE, who became the first side to be bowled out by Bangladesh in a chase.
Except for the first nine odd overs in the Bangladesh innings, batting didn’t seem easy. The Bangladesh batsmen committed one mistake after another before UAE struggled for 17.4 overs in their chase.
UAE’s pursuit of 134 began ominously when Soumya Sarkar dropped a simple chance off Rohan Mustafa’s bat in the first over. Al-Amin Hossain removed Muhammad Kaleem in the next over and Mustafa survived another chance in the fourth over when Mustafizur Rahman was judged to have grounded the ball in his attempt to take a return catch.
Mustafa fell to Mashrafe Mortaza in the next over, caught at short third-man, Mustafizur completing the simpler catch. Shaiman Anwar was well caught at point by Mahmudullah in Mashrafe’s next over before it was Mustafizur’s turn to take a brace in one over.
He first took a simple return catch with an off-cutter that left Mohammad Shahzad dumb-founded. Next ball, Swapnil Patil did the same thing, the only difference was that his top-edge carried to mid-on where Mashrafe took an easy catch.
The chase spun out of control for UAE. Their captain Amjad Javed slipped on to his stumps in the 11th over before newcomer Fahad Tariq ran past a slow Shakib Al Hasan delivery and was stumped by Nurul Hasan. Saqlain Haider drove Mahmudullah straight to cover as they sank to 55 for 8 in the 13th over. Muhammad Usman resisted briefly before he, too, edged one on to his stumps after a run-a-ball 30 that included two fours and as many sixes.
UAE’s bowling, however, continued to impress. Mohammad Naveed and Javed took two wickets each, with the former only giving away 12 runs in his four overs. Shahzad and Mustafa also took one apiece but the most impactful bowler was Ahmed Reza with his four tight overs of left-arm spin. Reza has now bowled three straight games without conceding a boundary, and his 0 for 17 today backed up economical returns against Oman and Sri Lanka.
Bangladesh’s batting had plenty in common with Sri Lanka’s effort on Thursday. Both teams sped off to good starts before they were slowed down by spin and collapsed in the middle overs to have very little chance of a late flourish. The significant difference was the 17 runs that Mahmudullah took in the final over to give Bangladesh some confidence at the break.
Sarkar and Mohammad Mithun started off with 46 runs in 5.2 overs before Soumya holed out to mid-on for 21 off 14 balls. The dismissal came soon after he had struck a six over square leg.
Bangladesh moved to 74 for 2 in ten overs but Reza and Mustafa were slowing them down. The collapse began in the 12th over when Mithun aimlessly took off for a single after the ball had trickled to the wicketkeeper Patil off an inside edge. A maiden T20I fifty was in the offing for Mithun who ended up on 47 off 41 balls with four boundaries and couple of sixes over the leg side.
Mushfiqur Rahim’s wave at a short, wide, hit-me ball took the outside edge in the next over before Shakib Al Hasan missed Javed’s high full-toss and was clean bowled. Big-hitters Nurul and Mashrafe gave catches to long-on and long-off next, before Mahmudullah ran hard, sweetly timed a four and hammered a six in the last over to get his team to a respectable 133.