PNG were skittled out for 97 chasing 181 as Bangladesh got a big NRR boost
Bangladesh 181 for 7 (Mahmudullah 50, Shakib 46, Morea 2-26) beat Papua New Guinea 97 (Doriga 46*, Shakib 4-9, Taskin 2-12) by 84 runs
Bangladesh couldn’t have asked for a bigger margin of victory on a day when the net run rate equation was the main focus. They beat Papua New Guinea by 84 runs, which gave them an NRR of 1.733, making the Oman-Scotland contest that follows a knockout battle.
WATCH – Naim takes a diving catch at long-on
Shakib bosses with the bat
Bangladesh’s need for a good powerplay was finally fulfilled, thanks to big hits from Shakib and Liton Das. They reached 45 for 1 after six overs, their first 40-plus score at that point in eight matches. Liton hit a 23-ball 29, but Shakib continued to run hard, converting several ones into twos. He struck three sixes in his 46 off 37 balls, the last of which was a one-handed straight hit off Assad Vala.
But as he flagged in the Muscat heat, Shakib’s innings was cut short by a brilliant Charles Amini catch, who timed his big dive to perfection at long-on. Ahead of the game, Amini said that he was looking forward to meeting Shakib, and this catch must be a great ice-breaker.
Mahmudullah tees off
Mahmudullah took off from where Shakib left off, starting with a hammer down long-on for his first six. He struck Chad Soper for two sixes through midwicket, but also managed to get fours with deft touches through point and third-man. His most delightful shot of this innings was a sweep from outside off stump against the left-arm quick Kabua Morea. It threaded between the square-leg and short fine-leg perfectly. Mahmudullah got out after reaching his 50 off 27 balls, although he didn’t look too pleased to be given out off Ravu’s high full-toss in the 18th over. His acceleration meant that Bangladesh were well set for a big total.
Barramundis can fly too
There is a reason why PNG are proud of their fielding. They are quite good at it. Against Bangladesh, there were four brilliant catches. Amini, Sese Bau and Damien Ravu took forward diving catches. Bau took the first two catches of the innings, the one of Liton standing out, as he had to make the catch by diving in front of him at deep square-leg.
Amini also needed a full-length forward dive at long-on to end Shakib’s innings. Later, Ravu capped off PNG’s catching with his effort to remove Afif Hossain in the death overs. He ran in from deep midwicket, before diving in front of him, managing a late swerve from the ball, to keep it in his grasp.
PNG must have felt much of their energy taken away by Bangladesh’s big score. They were dealt an early blow when Saifuddin trapped Lega Siaka in front in the third over. Nurul Hasan then took a superb catch down the leg-side to remove Vala off Taskin Ahmed in the next over.
Mohammad Naim followed it up with his brilliant leap to his right at the long-on boundary, as Amini fell for 1 to Shakib. Simon Atai fell in the same over, caught at point by Mahedi Hasan, before Shakib had Bau caught at long-on, by Naim.
Hiri Hiri, playing his first game in the tournament, struck the first boundary of the innings in the tenth over, but he top-edged one to the wicketkeeper to give Shakib his fourth wicket. PNG were 29 for 7 in the 11th over, well and truly out of the contest.
Doriga saves PNG’s blushes
Coming into bat in the 10th over, Doriga came in when PNG were 24 for 6. He added 25 runs with Soper for the eighth wicket, and another 26 with Morea for the ninth wicket.
He struck two fours and as many sixes in his 34-ball innings, scoring more than the top seven batters made together. He must have wanted to reach his fifty, but last-man Ravu, with whom he added 43 runs, fell to Taskin.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84