Australia limp over the line

Australia made hard work of beating Bangladesh to keep their ICC World Twenty20 hopes alive in Bangalore and leave the Tigers on the brink of elimination.

Usman Khawaja, again preferred to number-one ranked Twenty20 international batsman Aaron Finch at the top of the order, set the platform for a comfortable chase of 157 with a maiden format fifty.

Australia were coasting along on 115 for two in the 13th over but the nerves set in when Khawaja was bowled round his legs for 58 with 42 runs still required from 41 balls.

David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, who hit 26, and John Hastings all played loose shots before James Faulkner drove a four to get their side over the line with three wickets and nine balls unused.

Seamer Shane Watson and leg-spinner Adam Zampa, with figures of 2-31 and 3-23 respectively, had kept Bangladesh in check after they were stuck in by Steven Smith.

Watson removed Soumya Sarkar and Sabbir Rahman in the powerplay before Zampa’s flight and guile hampered their middle order.

James Faulkner, right, is congratulated by Peter Nevill, left, after hitting the winning runs for Australia

But Mahmudullah lifted Bangladesh to 156 for five with an unbeaten 49 from 29 balls, helping take 44 from the final three overs, bowled by Faulkner, Watson and Nathan Coulter-Nile.

Having struck 38 in a losing cause against New Zealand in the first match, Khawaja hit seven fours and a maximum in another impressive knock, lasting 45 balls.

The left-hander dominated an opening stand of 62 with Watson that ended when the latter failed to make his ground after taking on Sabbir’s arm from the midwicket rope.

Smith came and went for 14, bowled through his legs by a full Mustafizur Rahman delivery, before Khawaja departed to Al-Amin Hossain.

That was when the drama started as Warner smashed a leg-stump full-toss back to Shakib Al Hasan and Marsh failed to read a Mustafizur slower ball and skewed to cover.

Maxwell hit two fours and the same amount of sixes but tried one big shot too many, stumped advancing at Shakib, who then saw Hastings hole out with five still required.

But Faulkner rocked back to hit Saqlain Saib through the covers for a boundary that breathes new life into Australia hopes of progressing from Group 2 and condemns Bangladesh to a second successive loss.  

Source: ECB

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