Bangladesh v Australia - Men
Marsh stands up again but Australia spun out in Dhaka
Australia's top-order has no answer for Bangladesh's spinners as they fall short in pursuit of 132 to win, despite another fighting knock from their new No.3
Louis Cameron at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium, Dhaka
4 August 2021, 06:00 AM AEST
Australia have crumbled in the face of a spin bombardment in their series opener in Dhaka, slumping to their first ever T20 International defeat to Bangladesh.
The visitors looked in the box seat to continue their winning streak over the Tigers, which admittedly consisted of just four previous encounters in the format, after a stingy bowling effort led by Josh Halzewood (3-24 off four overs) restricted the hosts to 7-131.
But while Mitch Marsh's mighty form continued in a lone hand of 45 off as many deliveries, only two of his teammates reached double figures as left-arm spinner Nasum Ahmed led an inspired Bangladeshi bowling performance.
A four-run final over from crafty paceman Mustafizur Rahman (3-16) sealed a famous 23-run win for 10th-ranked Bangladesh.
On a slow but far from unplayable Sher-e-Bangla Stadium pitch, Australia lost six wickets to spin having handicapped their run chase by slumping to 3-11 in the first 13 balls of their innings.
Australia were again missing a host of their leading players, but so were Bangladesh, who were without leading men Mushfiqur Rahim, Tamim Iqbal and Liton Das.
Marsh had given the Aussies hope with a measured innings from No.3 as wickets tumbled around him, but he became Nasum's fourth victim when he skied one and was well caught by Shoriful Islam.
Bangladesh's short, skiddy spin bowlers Nasum (4-19 off four), Shakib al-Hasan (1-24) and Mahedi Hasan (1-22) combined to flummox the more powerful Australians.
After their 1-4 series defeat to the West Indies last month, Australia have now lost six of their past seven T20Is.
This match, which was not broadcast in Australia after last-minute rights negotiations fell through, had a surreal feeling to it.
Television crew and groundstaff were dressed in head-to-toe personal protective equipment, the two captains stood three metres apart at the toss while the only fans to be heard were stationed on the roof of a nearby building.
The two teams then did not shake hands at the game's conclusion due to COVID-19 protocols, with the Australians instead making a point of applauding their opponents off the field.
Hazlewood was Australia's best with the ball, dismissing three of the hosts' top four including star man and top scorer Shakib (36 off 33).
Shakib and promising young opener Mohammad Naim (30 off 29) both struggled to score quickly against the extra pace of Australia's quicks, though their steady hands proved the difference between the two sides.
In sweltering conditions, an under-the-weather Andrew Tye finished a superb spell by vomiting in his final over, recovering to bowl the final ball of his allocation of four overs, conceding just 22 runs.
Australia's spin woes were again on display in a chaotic start to their run chase with newly-promoted opener Alex Carey bowled first ball by Mahedi, Josh Philippe (9) stumped aiming a wild hoick off Nasum before Moises Henriques (1) edged a sweep through his legs and onto his stumps.
It was Henriques' fifth single-figure score in his past six innings, while Philippe has passed 16 just once in his seven hits since arriving in the West Indies last month.
New skipper Matthew Wade steadied the ship in a 38-run stand with Marsh but both he and Ashton Agar, batting at No.6, departed to Nasum, the latter in unusual circumstances having trod on his stumps.
Naim, a tall 21-year-old left-hander, looked the most fluent of the Bangaldesh batters as he twice flicked Mitchell Starc over backward square-leg for six before he was bowled aiming a reverse sweep off Adam Zampa.
Captain Mahmudullah was the only other home side batter to clear the rope, though he was out to Hazlewood a ball after doing so.
Agar put down a hot caught-and-bowled chance off Shakib on 18 before the left-hander added a further crucial 18 runs in the face of tight Aussie bowling.
Starc had an eventful final over that went for 11, bowling Afif off a waist-high no-ball that the Bangladeshis somehow ran two off, before the paceman dismissed him on the final ball of the innings.
It was the left-armer's 50th international T20 wicket, becoming the first Australian man to achieve the feat.
Meanwhile, a standoff between the Bangladesh rights holders and Australian broadcasters meant the opening match of the five-game series was unavailable to watch in Australia.
It's understood negotiations between Australian broadcasters – including Foxtel and free-to-air broadcasters – and marketing agency BanTech, who work on behalf of the Bangladesh Cricket Board, broke down and a deal could not be struck ahead of the match.
While the series is available to viewers outside Australia on YouTube, the rights holders have instructed the RabbitholeBD channel that regularly streams Bangladesh cricket matches to black out the Australian market.
The process of securing rights for matches that Australian teams play abroad is independent of Cricket Australia and is negotiated directly between the rights holder and broadcasters.
Bangladesh XI: Mohammad Naim, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah (c), Nurul Hasan (wk), Afif Hossain, Shamim Hossain, Mahedi Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful Islam, Nasum Ahmed
Australia XI: Josh Philippe, Alex Carey (vc), Mitch Marsh, Moises Henriques (vc), Matthew Wade (c/wk), Ashton Turner, Ashton Agar, Mitch Starc, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
Qantas Tour of Bangladesh 2021
Australia squad: Ashton Agar, Wes Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Dan Christian, Nathan Ellis, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Marsh, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade (c), Adam Zampa. Travelling reserve: Tanveer Sangha.
Bangladesh squad: Mahmudullah (c), Soumya Sarkar, Naim Sheikh, Shakib Al Hasan, Nurul Hasan Sohan, Afif Hossain, Shamim Hossain, Shaif Uddin, Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Nasum Ahmed, Shak Mahedi Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, Mohammad Mithun, Taijul Islam, Musaddek Hossain Saikat, Rubel Hossain
(all matches at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka)
First T20: Bangladesh won by 23 runs
Second T20: August 4, 6pm (10pm AEST)
Third T20: August 6, 6pm (10pm AEST)
Fourth T20: August 7, 6pm (10pm AEST)
Fifth T20: August 9, 6pm (10pm AEST)