T20 World Cup: Taskin Ahmed’s 4/25 gives Bangladesh narrow nine-run win over Netherlands

HOBART — Fast bowler Taskin Ahmed picked an incredible 4/25 to give Bangladesh a narrow nine-run win over Netherlands in their first Group 2 match in the Super 12 phase of the Men’s T20 World Cup at the Bellerive Oval on Monday.

After fast bowling duo of Paul van Meekeren and Bas de Leede picked two wickets each in an very impressive bowling performance for the Netherlands to restrict Bangladesh to 144/8 in 20 overs, Ahmed bowled a match-winning fiery spell to pick four wickets in his T20I career for the first time, including 16 dot balls.

Apart from him, Hasan Mahmud chipped in well with two wickets while captain Shakib Al Hasan and Soumya Sarkar picked a wicket each too. Netherlands were also hurt by two run-outs early in their chase, which almost derailed their chase.

Colin Ackermann stood up to be the lone fighter for the Netherlands with a valiant 48-ball 62 and Van Meekeren gave Bangladesh a scare with a late cameo of 24 off 14 balls, but it wasn’t enough for the Netherlands to chase down the total, skittled out for 135 in 20 overs.

In defence of 144, Ahmed dismissed Vikramjit Singh on the first delivery of the innings, as the youngster was caught brilliantly at first slip. He then followed it up with a short outswinger and forced Bas de Leede to poke at it, giving the keeper a regulation catch behind to give Bangladesh a rollicking start.

In the fourth over, opener Max O’Dowd and Tom Cooper were run-out after suffering bad mix-ups, resulting in two run-outs for the Netherlands in a span of three balls. Amidst the ruins, Ackermann struck boundaries off the pacer to add 44 runs for the fifth wicket with captain Scott Edwards.

But once Edwards fell after reverse-sweeping to point off Shakib in the 13th over, it led to another slide for the Netherlands despite Ackermann hitting boundaries and reaching his fifty with literally no support from the other end.

Ackermann’s excellent knock came to an end in the 17th over when he holed out to deep mid-wicket to be Ahmed’s fourth victim of the match. Van Meekeren played the long handle to perfection to hit three fours and a six, but he slog-swept straight to deep mid-wicket on the final ball of the innings off Sarkar to give Bangladesh a winning start to their campaign.

Earlier, Afif Hossain ensured that Bangladesh had a decent total, top-scoring with quickfire 38 from just 27 deliveries. Pushed into batting first on an overcast day, Sarkar and Najmul Hossain Shanto combined to hit six fours in their 43-run opening stand.

Van Meekeren, known for his repertoire of slower deliveries, got a vital breakthrough when he had Sarkar pulling straight to mid-wicket in the final over of power-play. In the next over, Shanto slog-swept, but the catch was snapped by deep mid-wicket off left-arm spinner Tim Pringle.

From there, Netherland pulled the match back in their favour as Litton Das, captain Shakib Al Hasan and Yasir Ali fell in quick succession to leave Bangladesh reeling at 76/5 in 11 overs. Teenage leg-spinner Shariz Ahmad (1/27), coming in for an injured Roelof van der Verve, got the huge wicket of Shakib in his first T20 World Cup appearance.

But Afif and Mosaddek Hossain (20 not out off 12 balls) joined forces to push up the total, hitting some lofty shots and also benefited from the Netherlands dropping three catches in the back end of the innings. De Leede took out Hossain and Nurul Hasan in quick succession to keep Bangladesh under 150, which proved to be just sufficient for them to eventually get two points.

Brief scores: Bangladesh 144/8 in 20 overs (Afif Hossain 38, Najmul Hossain Shanto 25; Paul van Meekeren 2/21, Bas de Leede 2/29) beat Netherlands 135 all out in 20 overs (Colin Ackermann 62, Paul van Meekeren 24; Taskin Ahmed 4/25, Hasan Mahmud 2/15) by nine runs. — (IANS)