Australia's stand-in skipper Matthew Wade expressed disappointment over yet another unimpressive batting show, in the third T20I against Bangladesh at Dhaka’s Shere Bangla National Stadium on Friday, August 6. The hosts have now taken an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.
In a must win game, Australia restricted the hosts at 127/9 in their allotted 20 overs on a sluggish surface. Despite losing Matthew Wade (1) in just the second over of the run-chase, the visitors looked on course, with an in-form Mitchell Marsh (51) and Ben McDermott (35) adding 63 for the second wicket. However, the latter’s untimely dismissal, followed by two more quick wickets, slowed down the scoring considerably, with Bangladesh eventually sealing the contest by 10 runs.
As had been the case in the previous two games, the Australian batters were undone by the pinpoint accuracy of Mustafizur Rahman, who, with 23 needed off 12, conceded just a single run in the 19th over and finished with astonishing figures of 4-0-9-0. This was after the left-arm spin of Shakib Al Hasan (1/22) and Nasum Ahmed (1/19) had restricted the scoring earlier.
Wade admitted that batting gets progressively difficult on such slow wickets, but rued the fact that his batters failed to take their opportunities at crucial junctures.
“Bowling has been really good, they have kept us in the game.” the wicket-keeper batsman remarked during the post-match presentation.
“We didn't take our opportunity with the bat. Very disappointing. We know their overs have been challenging at the end of our innings on these slow wickets. When the rate goes up to 8 on these wickets, it becomes very challenging. It is tough to close out the innings on these wickets.”
The skipper was impressed with Nathan Ellis, his Hobart Hurricanes teammate, who became the first bowler to register a T20I hattrick on debut. Ellis had conceded 29 off his first three overs, before redeeming himself in the final over of the innings, accounting for a well set Mahmudullah (52), Mustafizur Rahman and Mahedi Hasan.
“Funny game, it is. Nathan (Ellis) bowled well to get that.” said Wade.
Earlier, it was skipper Mahmudullah’s responsible half-century that guided Bangladesh to a respectable total. The vetaran was immensely pleased with the fight shown by his team and credited Shakib and Mustafizur for their valuable contributions.
“Boys stood up during important times. It was incredible to see the boys fight today,” Mahmudullah said.
“When me and Shakib were batting, we wanted to bat till the 16th or 17th over as we thought it wouldn't be easy for the new batter. We focussed on our process today and held it together.
“When we were about to enter the field, I wanted Shakib to have a word. All the bowlers did their homework. Mustafizur was brilliant tonight. We had a chat in Zimbabwe that we need to step up as we think we are a balanced side. We are a pretty decent side than the ranking suggests. We just need to be sensible while executing our skills.”
The fourth T20I will be played at the same venue on Saturday, August 7.