Australia finally tasted victory in their five-match T20I series against Bangladesh, winning a low-scoring fourth match by three wickets, with Dan Christian’s 15-ball 39 easing the chase after the bowlers had restricted the hosts to 104.
In what should have been an easy chase, Bangladesh’s Mehedi Hasan 2/17) and Mustafizur Rahman (2/9) made things difficult for Australia. However, a total of 104 on the board posted by the hosts after opting to bat first, left little room for the bowlers to force the result in their favour. They did make life difficult for the Australian batsmen who got over the line with just three wickets in hand and an over to spare late on Saturday evening.
Australia have already lost the series, with the hosts having won the first three matches.
Bangladesh encountered early troubles with their batsmen unable to time the ball well. Opener Soumya Sarkar (8) was the first to go, inducing a top-which was comfortably taken by Alex Carey off Josh Hazelwood’s bowling.
Australia continued to have a stronghold over the run rate. Shakib Al Hasan struggled to break free. Batting at a strike rate of 57.69, Shakib could only manage 15 runs before edging it to Matthew Wade.
The introduction of Mitchell Swepson made things tougher for the hosts. In his second spell, Swepson picked the wickets of Mahmudullah and Nurul Hasan, both for nought and trapped leg-before in successive deliveries.
A couple of cameos from Afif Hossain (20) and Mahedi Hasan (23) got the hosts to 104/9 with 14 off those coming in the final over. Andrew Tye and Swepson claimed three wickets apiece.
Dan Christian was given a promotion to bat at No. 3 and turned the tables around for Australia who lost captain Wade in the first over. A day before when Australia failed to score 22 runs in the final two overs with Dan Christian at the crease, he turned around the corner, smashing Shakib for five sixes in an over.
Australia were 49/3 at the end of the powerplay and needed 56 runs in 14 overs. Bangladesh then made a couple of breakthroughs by getting Moises Henriques (1) run-out and Alex Carey’s leg-before and making life difficult for the visitors.
With 20 needed off the final five overs, Ashton Agar’s run-a-ball 27 took Australia to their first win of the series with an over to spare.
Brief scores: Bangladesh 104/9 in 20 overs (M Naim 28; A Tye 3/18, A Swepson 3/12, J Hazlewood 2/24) lost to Australia 105/7 in 19 overs (D Christian 39; M Rahman 2/9, M Hasan 2/17).