Shakib Al Hasan produced another sensational performance as Bangladesh qualified for the Super 12s with an 84-run win against Papua New Guinea.
Shakib, second in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I all-rounder rankings, took four for nine in a typically masterful spell to help dismiss PNG for just 97.
He also weighed in with the bat, scoring an impressive 46, as the Tigers made an imposing 181 for seven.
PNG’s fielders took some spectacular catches but with the bat they struggled to fend off Shakib, with Kiplin Doriga the only one to offer some resistance with an unbeaten 46.
Bangladesh batting coach Ashwell Prince said his charges would go “full throttle” in this match and they had a chance to do just that from the outset after winning the toss.
However, Mohammad Naim was out second ball to Kabua Morea after he picked out a fielder at deep square leg.
Shakib partnered Liton Das at the crease and the pair helped stave off an early crisis with a 50-run partnership, with Shakib cleverly rotating the strike in a phase of the game the Tigers struggled for boundaries.
Das was then brilliantly caught in the deep by Sese Bau off captain Assad Vala while attempting a slog-sweep and, with a run-rate under seven, PNG did well to restrict Bangladesh in the first half of their innings.
Shakib hit an 86-metre six in the tenth over, the Tigers’ first boundary in 32 balls, and left-arm spinner Simon Atai removed Mushfiqur Rahim for five, as Bangladesh continued to struggle.
Mahmudullah and Shakib tried to up the run-rate, with both striking a six, before Charles Amini took a spectacular catch by diving forwards at long on to dismiss Shakib.
The pressure fell on Mahmudullah to lead with the bat and he started well by cutting two balls to the boundary to reach 29 off 18 balls.
He then hit two sixes and a four off Chad Soper in the 17th over to reach his half-century off just 27 balls, the fastest 50 in the tournament so far. However, he was out on the 28th ball after hitting a full toss to deep square leg.
Nurul Hasan provided an entertaining cameo, with fours from his first two balls, while Afif Hossain made 21 before another brilliant catch – this time from Damien Ravu – saw him head back to the pavilion for 21.
Mohammad Saifuddin finished the innings in style, with sixes off the last two balls and a four from a free hit, to leave Bangladesh on 181 for seven.
PNG made a patient start with the bat but lost their first wicket in the third over, as Lega Siaka was trapped lbw by Saifuddin’s in-swinger, while Taskin Ahmed removed Vala five balls later thanks to a fine catch by Hasan behind the stumps.
Not to be outdone by PNG’s superb fielding, Bangladesh’s catchers were on fire, as Naim sprinted round from wide long on to take a spectacular diving catch to dismiss Amini at the beginning of the fifth over, while the bowler, Shakib, picked up another wicket three balls later as PNG fell to 14 for four.
Shakib returned four overs later to take his third wicket, with Bau caught by Naim in the deep, before the big-hitting Norman Vanua fell to Mahedi Hasan mid-way through the 10th.
Doriga offered some resistance with an impressive innings but Bangladesh chipped away and eventually bowled PNG out in the final over.
Scores in Brief :
Bangladesh beat Papua New Guinea, at Al Amerat Cricket Ground, Oman by 84 runs
Bangladesh 181/7 in 20 overs (Mahmudullah 50, Shakib Al Hasan 46; Assad Vala 2/26, Kabua Morea 2/26)
Papua New Guinea 97 all out in 19.2 overs (Kiplin Doriga 46 not out; Chad Soper 11; Shakib Al Hasan 4/9; Mohammad Saifuddin 2/21)
Player of the Match: Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh)