BRIDGETOWN: Fast bowler Dirk Nannes took four wickets as Australia beat Bangladesh by 27 runs at the Kensington Oval on Wednesday to advance into the second round of the World Twenty20.
Bangladesh, who needed to win this match convincingly to knock either Group A rivals Australia or Pakistan out on superior run-rate, reduced Australia to 65 for six inside 13 overs after Aussie captain Michael Clarke won the toss.
But man-of-the-match Michael Hussey held firm with an unbeaten 47 and was well-supported in a seventh-wicket stand of 74 in seven overs by Steven Smith (27) as Australia finished on 141 for seven.
And on a pitch full of pace and bounce, Bangladesh – who’ve often struggled against fast bowling – collapsed to 15 for four inside overs as they failed to cope with Nannes and fellow quick Shaun Tait.
Left-armer Nannes finished with figures of four for 18 – an Australian Twenty20 international record as Bangladesh were bowled out for 114 with eight balls to spare.
"It’s a very satisfying win," said Clarke. "Our top order didn’t perform as well as we would have liked today (Wednesday) but to scrape our way to 140, ‘Huss’ played a wonderful innings as he always seems to do when we are under pressure and young Steven Smith batted really well."
Clarke added: "Our execution with the ball was spot on, these conditions are really going to help our fast bowlers. There was a lot of pace and bounce in that wicket and a bit of spin as well."
Tait struck in the first over, Imrul Kayes caught at mid-on for nought.
Mohammad Ashraful also fell for a duck, well caught by a diving Tait at third man off Nannes.
Aftab Ahmed and Mahmudullah (both one) also couldn’t handle Nannes’ pace.
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan (28) gave Bangladesh renewed hope in a stand of 48 with Mushfiqur Rahim before he was brilliantly caught on the boundary by Michael Hussey, who just stayed inside the ropes, to leave the Tigers 63 for five and there was no way back.
"We need to be much more disciplined and think one step ahead so we can win some games," said Shakib.
Earlier, Bangladesh quick Mashrafe Mortaza took two wickets for 28 runs from four overs as the Tigers, who defied all the odds to beat Australia in a one-day international in Cardiff in 2005.
And by the time Clarke struck spinner Mohammad Ashraful straight to Jahirul Islam for 16, Australia were 52 for four.
Next ball David Hussey almost went the same way, only this time Jahurul, running in, dropped the catch.
Not that David Hussey made much of his reprieve as on nine he skied an intended pull off Mortaza to wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim to leave Australia 57 for five in the 11th over.
The collapse then continued as left-arm spinner Shakib bowled a bemused Cameron White (eight) with a ball that bounced.
Michael Hussey, in when Australia were five down, staunched the flow of wickets and struck a couple of Mortaza full tosses for six and four respectively before late cutting another boundary.
Smith weighed in two sixes of his own, off Razzak, in the penultimate over, before he was run out in the last.
Australia, who lost both their matches at last year’s World Twenty20, begin their Super Eights campaign against India on Friday. (AFP)