Monday saw Bangladesh begin their T20 World Cup campaign with a narrow victory over the Netherlands (October 24). Bangladesh was on track to win easily thanks to Taskin Ahmed’s four-for but a late appearance by Paul van Meekeren gave them a small fright just before the final whistle. Finally, the Asian team maintained composure to win by nine runs and secure a crucial victory.
Why was the victory sorely needed?
To begin with, Bangladesh’s struggles in the T20 format are well known. Given that Netherlands had a little momentum on their side going into this match, they weren’t exactly the favourites either. The fact that Bangladesh had never previously played a T20I on these soils added to the interest.
Bangladesh had to start their group with a victory against Netherlands before facing tougher opponents since they faced harder hurdles after that. This victory would have undoubtedly achieved the desired results in that situation.
What happened when they used the bat?
For Bangladesh, it was just another day, another fresh beginning lineup. However, it appears that they made the correct decision this time. Najmul Shanto appeared to be in excellent shape, and Soumya Sarkar was back in the group. The two batters provided Bangladesh a strong start in the powerplay against a team that has bowled really effectively so far.
But after they added 43 in the first five overs, things took an astonishing turn. Van Meekeren restarted the attack to remove Sarkar, and Tim Pringle struck to eliminate Najmul Shanto in the very next over.
The dangerous Liton Das was unable to clear the man at mid on, and Logan van Beek, who had replaced Roelof van der Merwe, took a wicket in his first over. Bangladesh struggled at 63/4 and eventually fell to 76/5 as the procession continued as Shakib Al Hasan too failed to make an impression while trying a sweep.
Then, how did they publish 144?
Afif Hossain, who oversaw the recovery, was to blame. Even though Bangladesh was having trouble, the small left-hander was seeking for runs. At the end of 17 overs, he struck Shariz Ahmad for a boundary and a six, helping Bangladesh reach 120/5. Following the dismissal of two Bangladeshi batsmen, before Mosaddek Hossain took his team above the 140-run mark, Bas de Leede again set the Netherlands back.