Hosts Bangladesh clinched a historic T20I series win against Australia when they defeated the visitors by 10 runs and took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series in the third game in Mirpur’s Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium Friday.
Chasing 128 for victory, Australia managed to score 117 losing four wickets to concede the series with two games to spare.
The match went right down to the wire as 23 were needed in the last two overs with Australia having six wickets in hand and Alex Carey and Daniel Christian at the crease.
Mustafizur Rahman bowled a superb 19th over as the left-arm pacer gave away only one run from six deliveries, and produced a masterful display of bowling with slower deliveries and variations with pace.
Captain Mahmudullah gave off-spinner Mahedi Hasan the ball with 22 required off the last six balls and Carey started well with a sixer in the very first delivery.
But Mahedi held his nerve in the end and did not concede any more boundaries, despite giving a no-ball and bowling a free hit.
Earlier, the match started after an hour and 15 minutes from the scheduled time due to the interruption of rain.
Mahmudullah won the toss and surprisingly, elected to bat first.
Bangladesh remained from the last game but Australia made several changes in their playing XI.
Bangladesh made a poor start as opener Soumya Sarkar was shaky particularly as he had no clue against the Aussie bowling attack.
Other opener Mohammad Naim went back to the pavilion after facing just two deliveries, scoring one run.
Soumya’s horrible looking innings ended in the first ball of the third over as he made only two from 11 deliveries.
Bangladesh were in disarray after batting first as the score was just nine runs for the loss of both the openers following three overs.
All-rounder Shakib al Hasan and Mahmudullah then put on 44 for the third wicket.
Shakib was impressive during his 17-ball innings before getting out for 26 while trying to clear the boundary against leg-spinner Adam Zampa.
Shakib looked disappointed after getting caught as his departure was crucial in the context of the match.
Australia fielders were sharp on the field as they made two brilliant run outs in the middle overs that dented Bangladesh’s scoring rate.
Both Afif Hossain (19) and Nurul Hasan (11) were brilliantly run out by Carey and Moises Henriques respectively to give the edge to the Aussies.
Mahmudullah scored a struggling half-century (52 off 53 deliveries) and batted till the last over, but Bangladesh struggled to raise the tempo in the late stage of the innings.
Australia debutant Nathan Ellis wrote his name in the history books as the right-arm pacer took a hat-trick in the last three balls of the innings; Bangladesh managing to score 127 in 20 overs losing nine wickets.
This is the 17th hat-trick in T20Is but Ellis is the first player to take a treble on debut.