"Ego" is one word that strikes our mind everytime we watch Aussie batsmen. No matter what the situation, they'll score freely, or perish trying to break free..
Fresh & untested pitch at Kensington Oval it was at Barbados today as it hosted it's first game of World T20 2010 tournament and hence, fielding seemed the obvious choice for whoever wins the toss but rather egotistically, Australia skipper Michael Clarke elected to bat (like Aussies often do) and then followed a collapse.
David Warner & Clarke were only two top order batsmen to get past double figure scores (16 each) as OZ team slipped to 3 for 37 and then 6 for 65 at the 13th over mark. Bangladesh bowlers, specially surprize offspinner Mohammad Ashraful (who generally bowls leg spin) and captain Shakib Al Hasan kept pressure up on their senior opposition and wickets kept trumbling.
7 over to go and 4 wickets in hand, only a miracle could have saved Aussies. or Michael Hussey. Joined by young and upcoming allrounder Steven Smith, Hussey added counter attacking 74 off remaining balls to bring some momentum back towards his team. Steven Smith, although a leg spinner, has had a superb domestic season scoring 4 centuries and he graduated at international level today quite well, hitting over covers and pulling spinners past mid-wicket baundary. Hussey guided him upto the last over, compiling 141, giving his bowlers a total to bowl at.
Bangladesh, having lost their other league game to Pakistan by healthy margin of 34 runs, had to win this match by the 19th over to enter super 8s (disqualifying Pakistan) or by the 15th over to send Australia home. Sadly, start of chase was already hampered by absense of Tamim Iqbal and then Shaun Tait came out all guns blazing.
Although speedometers weren't working, Shaun Tait rushed Bangladesh batsmen on their toes and Dirk Nannes, from other end, matched his partner's pace ball by ball. Both openers dismissed for duck and then Aftab Ahmed for 1, Bangladesh hopes in this match were done and dusted at this juncture but not before a fighint 48 run stand between Shakib Al Hasan and wicket keeper Mushfiqur Rahim.
A sentence of praise for the Kensington oval pitch has to added as well. Although a little shorter baundaries than we have at other venues in this World T20 tournament, Barbados seemed like the perfect cricet pitch with something for every.. bounce to encourage pacers to bend their back, consistency for batsmen to time their shots and yes, there were hint of spin as well.
The scoresAustralia 141 for 7 wickets in 20 overs.
M Hussey 47*, Steven Smith 27, Al Hasan 2/24.
Bangladesh 114 allout in 18.4 overs (27 short)
Al Hasan 28, Mushfiqur Rahim 24, Dirk Nannes 4/18
Full scorecard : Australia v Bangladesh, World T20.
Aussies unbeatenList of consecutive T20 matches without a drefeat is now jointly owned by Australia and Pakistan as green and gold team went past their 8th game withouta defeat today (7 won, 1 no result). Australia's next assignment is India in super 8s round on Friday.