T20 World Cup: Ackermann’s 62 in vain as Bangladesh seal a nine-run win
Brief scores: Bangladesh 144 for 8 (Afif 38, van Meekeren 2-21, de Leede 2-29) beat Netherlands 135 (Ackermann 62, Taskin 4-25) by 9 runs
Bangladesh overcame a late Paul van Meekeren cameo and Colin Ackermann’s valiant 62-run knock to register their first-ever Super 12s victory at the T20 cricket World Cup in Australia on Monday.
Yet again the Dutch top-order imploded in a modest chase of 145, to be bowled for 135 after the bowlers, led by van Meekeren (2-21) and Bas de Leede (2-29), restricted Bangladesh to a seemingly underpar total.
Having opted to bowl first in overcast conditions, the Dutch recalled Logan van Beek and leg-spinner Shariz Ahmad in place of Timm van Der Gugten and the injured Roelof van der Merwe.
Bangladesh batters made a brisk start but collapsed from a dominant 43-0 in the sixth over to 76-5 in the 11th. Most notably, 19-year-old Ahmad dismissed Shakib Al Hasan, the lynchpin and the captain, caught in the deep, to pick up his maiden World Cup scalp.
Bangladesh’s middle-order came to the fore as Afif Hossain resurrected the innings with a 27-ball 38 in conjunction with Mosaddek Hossain (20) to post a formidable 144-9.
The Netherlands, in response, played catch-up all along and got off to a disastrous start as they were reduced to 15-4 inside four overs. Taskin Ahmed priced out Vikramjit Singh and de Leede for first-ball ducks off successive balls of the first over. To make matters worse, three overs later, poor running between the wickets cost Max O’Dowd, the second-highest run-scorer from the first round, and Tom Cooper their wickets.
Colin Ackermann shook off his lean run of form to collect four boundaries, most of them through the covers, to stitch a 44-run partnership with Scott Edwards (16). Ackermann’s lone hand brought up his maiden T20I half century, laced with six fours and two sixes. Amidst the fightback, though, the incessant drizzle was a constant threat and eventually forced the players off the field for a 15-minute delay.
Upon resumption, Hasan Mahmud (2-15) and Taskin Ahmed, who picked up his career-best figures of 4-25, further dented the chase as the Dutch slid from 59-4 to 101-9. Just when the Bangladeshis sensed a huge victory margin, van Meekeren (24) walloped three boundaries and a six to delay the inevitable.
‘It’s a missed opportunity from our side today,’ Ackermann told a press conference.
‘We felt like coming into this game that it was going to be a good match, and we felt like we had the skills and the capabilities to definitely beat Bangladesh today, and it showed in our performance. It was a closely contested match, but we needed those partnerships at the start of the innings to really solidify our chase, and it just didn’t happen today, unfortunately.’
The Netherlands next take on India on Thursday at 9am (CET) in Sydney.
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