World T20 2021 | BAN vs OMA: Shakib Al Hasan storms Bangladesh back into Super 12 contention

Kingshuk Kusari

Kingshuk Kusari

Author| Oct 19, 7:14 PM


Shakib al Hasan is the best player that Bangladesh has on offer. He has been their best player for a long time now, and a corruption ban, lack of match practice in proper T20I wickets has not changed that. And it is only fitting that it is Shakib al Hasan whose all round performance brings Bangladesh’s campaign back on track in the T20 World Cup.

On paper, beating Oman by 26 runs might not look significant enough in the coming years, but only this Bangladeshi team, its captain Mahmudullah Riyad and Shakib al Hasan would know what they had to endure to pull it off.

Defending a decent enough total of 154 runs, Bangladesh had their hearts in the mouth with Jatindar Singh Kashyap Prajapati taking the attack to the opposition.

At the halfway mark, Oman had Bangladeshi fans by the edge of their seat having put 70 runs on board for the loss of 2 wickets. With Jatinder Singh just starting to tee off, it seemed like Oman might just make a game out of this, but it was not to be.

In an absolutely anticlimactic manner, Singh’s perfectly timed sweep went straight into the hands of the deep square leg. Between the time the ball hit the bat and reached the fielder, Singh would have hoped that Bangladesh would spill another catch in the field. They had already dropped two, why was this going to be any different?

But no. Liton Das, the only player manning that area, stationed himself beautifully and grabbed a low chance, making sure that Bangladesh had amended their mistakes in this game.

The wicket didn’t just come out of anywhere though. Spinner Mahedi Hasan had been tightening the screws for a while now, having bowled three overs before this for just eight runs. Jatinder knew that he had to do something, and in that desperation, his momentary mistake, became the downfall of Oman.

From that wicket in the 13th over, Bangladesh grabbed the game by the scruff of its neck and picked up three more wickets in the next four overs without conceding a single boundary. Shakib’s final over in the game (17th in the match) bore two wickets out of that three and the all rounder finished with the figures of 4-0-28-3 in the game.

Shakib and Mahedi were the real architects of the win even though Mustafizur led the charts with four wickets to his name.

In the final three overs, the experienced Mustafizur Rahman and Mohammad Saifuddin made sure that Bangladesh did not slip their fortunes once again and restricted Oman to 127 runs for 9 wickets.

Earlier in the innings, to everyone’s surprise, Bangladesh after winning the toss chose to bat first. The Bangladesh camp has not been happy with their batting order has performed and their captain-coach have not hidden their feelings about it.

When Mahamudullah chose to bat first in  a game that was certainly going to be affected by dew later on, it for sure meant that he wanted his line-up to be baptised by fire.

The decision almost turned 180 on him when the team lost two quick wickets against the seam and swing of Bilal Khan and Kaleemullah and were down to 25-2 inside 5 overs.

Bangladesh needed an immense rescue act to get them back on track, and who led that, you ask?

Shakib al Hasan.

The all rounder added 80 runs alongside Mohammad Naim and when got run out trying to accelerate in the 14th over. He scored a crucial 42 off 29 deliveries.

However, it cannot be ignored that Oman dropped several catches during that phase of play and gifted Bangladesh chance after chance to get back in the game.

Naim continued after Shakib’s departure and scored 64 off 50 balls before holing out deep mid wicket while trying to hit a slower bouncer from Kaleemullah.

The story did not end there for Bangladesh or Bangladeshi batting for that matter as even after a decent win, controversy will brew around the discussion of former captain Mushfiqur batting position. Tonight, the right hander who has more than 350 caps for Bangladesh came out to bat at eight, his lowest position in any format of the game.

With two points secured, Bangladesh will now look to win their final game of the group stage to ensure that they do everything in their power to be in contention for the Super 12. But they will have to depend on Oman's result from their final game against Scotland to be sure about the same.

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