Taskin Ahmed bowled a high-quality last over, giving away eight runs when Netherlands required 17 to win, to help Bangladesh start their World T20 campaign with an eight-run win in Dharamsala. The game had swung in nearly every over as neither team could take a hold of the contest.
Mudassar Bukhari and Pieter Seelaar kept Netherlands in the hunt with a 16-run penultimate over, after Tom Cooper was dismissed off the first ball. Bukhari was run-out in the last over, and neither Seelaar nor Logan van Beek could find the boundaries.
Ultimately, Tamim Iqbal’s unbeaten 83, as the rest of the Bangladesh batting line-up struggled, Mashrafe Mortaza’s boundary-less last three overs and Taskin’s accurate last over combined for Bangladesh’s win.
The game was in Netherlands’ grasp when they needed 54 runs in the last five overs with seven wickets in hand. Captain Peter Borren started off the assault with a one-handed sweep through midwicket for four. Subsequently, he was dropped in the same region by Nasir Hossain before the same fielder caught him at the end of the over.
In the next over, Mortaza, who conceded one four in his spell, was unlucky not to have Cooper’s wicket after the ball struck the off stump but the bails didn’t budge. Van der Merwe was removed later in the over though, the thin edge carrying to the Mushfiqur Rahim.
Earlier, Al-Amin Hossain had removed Wesley Barresi in the fifth over, but his opening partner Stephan Myburgh and Ben Cooper kept the runs flowing. Nasir, then, provided Bangladesh with the breakthrough by having Myburgh bowled in the ninth over for a run-a-ball 29. Borren got into his work immediately, having reverse-swept Nasir for two boundaries in the same over. The next 26 balls yielded no boundaries off the bat.
In the first innings, the pace pair of Timm van der Gugten and Paul van Meekeren combined to take five wickets for 38 runs in eight overs. Van der Gugten’s double-strike in the 15th over stalled Bangladesh’s late charge, and van Meekeren made up for his dropped catch in the first over with figures of 2 for 17.
Tamim, who hit his first T20I fifty since December 2012, was the only batsman to thwart the bowling. His 58-ball 83, which was Bangladesh’s third highest T20 score, included six fours and three sixes.
Tamim, while assessing conditions in the early part of his innings, took plenty of singles before lacing a beautiful cut off van Meekeren in the sixth over. His first six was a mis-hit that just cleared long-off but he showed his form with his next boundary – a late dab past short third man.
After Shakib Al Hasan’s wicket, Tamim changed gears and hit van der Merwe for a straight six in the 13th over but survived a stumping chance off the following delivery. He smashed Logan van Beek for two fours in the next over but struggled to farm the strike as wickets fell frequently around him. He hit only one more four and a flat six, which came in the last over. The rest of the batsmen’s struggles showed just how important Tamim’s knock was.