Bangladesh v Australia - Men
Aussies fall just short, Bangladesh claim series win
A hat-trick on international debut for Nathan Ellis and a composed fifty from Mitch Marsh were not enough as Australia failed to finish the job after some brilliant Bangladesh death bowling
Louis Cameron at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium, Dhaka
7 August 2021, 06:00 AM AEST
Nathan Ellis' debut hat-trick has been overshadowed by Bangladesh storming to their first ever series victory over Australia, thanks to captain Mahmudullah and pace sensation Mustafizur Rahman.
Ellis will never forget his first three wickets in international cricket, taking them in succession off the final three deliveries of Bangladesh's innings to become the first man to take an international T20 hat-trick in his first game.
But his milestone achievement was soon soured. Yet another strong performance from Mitch Marsh went in vain as Australia failed to chase down Bangladesh's 7-127 on a challenging Sher-e-Bangla Stadium surface.
After Marsh's exit for 51 left his side needing 34 off 17, the Aussies, despite being behind the asking rate for most of the innings, were still a chance with 23 needed off the final two overs.
But Mustafizur capped an incredible performance by conceding just one run from the penultimate over of the innings, flummoxing the visitors with his fast off-cutters and finishing with the incredible figures of 0-9 from four overs.
Bangladesh held on for a 10-run victory despite a nervy final over from Mahedi Hasan.
While only a small number of fans were permitted to watch from a distance in corporate boxes due to COVID-19 protocols, the historic win was cheered from the rooftops of nearby buildings where fans dressed as tigers and waved the national flag.
The entire Bangladesh squad stormed the field and danced in a huddle after the win gave them an unassailable 3-0 series lead.
Australia would have been lost without Marsh's ultra-consistent run of T20 form with the bat during their tours of West Indies and Bangladesh, with the allrounder top-scoring for the visitors for a third straight match, this time making 51 off 47 balls.
In his first game back after recovering from an ankle injury, Ben McDermott (35 off 41) struck the highest score by an Australian not named Marsh in this series and put on 63 with him, the visitors' biggest partnership of the series to date.
But Mahmudullah's 52 off 53 balls earlier proved vital despite Australia's bowlers, led by Josh Hazlewood (2-16 off four overs) largely keeping things tight.
Until his last three deliveries, Ellis – who had his T20I cap presented to him by Mitchell Starc, the man he replaced in the XI – had made an unremarkable start to his international career, conceding a boundary in each of his overs though largely giving a fair account of himself.
His skittling of Mahmudullah for his maiden wicket was far from a consolation prize, earning back-slaps from his fervent teammates.
Mustafizur and Mahedi then failed to grasp the changes of pace Ellis has made a name for himself for in the KFC Big Bash, setting off in delighted celebrations with both arms raised as teammates swamped him.
The front of his shirt soiled from an earlier sliding run-out attempt that would have made his beloved Cronulla Sharks proud, Ellis could hardly wipe the smile off his face as he walked off the ground.
He is the second Australian to take an international hat-trick on debut after Damien Fleming accomplished the feat in a Test match in Pakistan in 1994.
Congrats Nath A bit excited 😊 just need to check by-laws tests and t20 cricket 🏏— Damien Fleming (@bowlologist) August 6, 2021
After stand-in skipper Matthew Wade's call to open the batting in Alex Carey's place proved short-lived, Marsh and McDermott weathered a challenging early period against the home side's bowlers to tilt the momentum back into Australia's favour.
Marsh was supreme in creaming Nasum Ahmed for six over cover, while McDermott, opening the batting in place of Josh Philippe, sent two over the rope himself including the third ball he faced.
But the required run-rate continually mounted until finally reaching more than 10 runs per over, eventually proving too many once Australia's established batters exited.
Having lost the toss and taken the field, Australia had a dream start, tweaking their Powerplay approach to have a greater spin focus given the success of Bangladesh's bowlers had in the first two games.
Bangladesh were 2-3 with both openers back in the sheds after Adam Zampa had Soumya Sarkar out lbw, while off-spinner Ashton Turner conceded just two from his opening over.
Zampa capped a strong performance by getting the key wicket of Shakib Al Hasan, breaking a 44-run rescue act from the star allrounder and Mahmudullah.
Two direct-hit run outs further hamstrung the hosts through the middle overs, with Alex Carey (who has ceded wicketkeeping duties to Wade) proving his outfield wares with a superb diving underarm to remove the dangerous Afif Hossain before Nurul Hasan was left for dead by his skipper as Moises Henriques threw down the striker's end stumps.
Nurul's run-out aside, it was an intelligent knock from Mahmudullah who managed to go at about a run-a-ball for most of the innings despite finding the boundary just once during his first 45 deliveries.
His late flurry was ended when Ellis dismissed him, beginning an unlikely finish to the Bangladesh innings.
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: Matthew Wade (c, wk), Ben McDermott, Mitchell Marsh, Moises Henriques, Alex Carey, Ashton Turner, Dan Christian, Ashton Agar, Nathan Ellis, 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: Bangladesh won by five wickets
Third T20: Bangladesh won by 10 runs
Fourth T20: August 7, 6pm (10pm AEST)
Fifth T20: August 9, 6pm (10pm AEST)