Bangladesh cricket suffered a jolt as they were blanked in the three-match T20 series by Afghanistan. Not only is the result difficult to digest for an established cricketing nation, the one-run loss in the final match in Dehradun points to a growing inability of Bangladesh to close out matches.
Afghanistan star leg-spinner Rashid Khan was at it again as the Tigers fell short by one run while chasing 146 for victory in Dehradun on Thursday.
Here we look at three prominent instances when Bangladesh fell short of a target in T20 cricket by the smallest of margins.
Lost to Sri Lanka by two runs, Chittagong (Feb 12, 2014)
Bangladesh had a great opportunity to defeat a strong Sri Lanka outfit that had Kumar Sangakkara and Lasith Malinga at home.
Sri Lanka posted 168 for seven in the first innings. Bangladesh made a valiant attempt to reach the target.
The hosts needed 17 in the final over bowled by Thisara Perera, with the hopes pretty much dashed. However, Anamul Haque hit three boundaries as the equation came down to three runs from the final ball for victory and two for a tie.
Anamul received a nice thigh high full toss but all he could do is spoon the ball back to the bowler, resulting in a two-run defeat.
Lost to India by one run, Bengaluru (Mar 23, 2016)
One of the most painful moments in Bangladesh cricket history. Bangladesh were in control for 39 overs of the World T20 match against India in Bengaluru. They needed 11 from the final over and after Mushfiqur Rahim hit two successive boundaries, required two runs from three balls.
Then came the meltdown as first Rahim and then Mahmudullah hit the bowler – Hardik Pandya – to midwicket to get caught before a failed attempt to run a bye from the final ball resulted in a one-run defeat.
While Dhoni’s lightning quick dash to the stumps to affect the run out off the final ball remains one of the highlights of the tournament, the fact remains it was Bangladesh who lost the game they had in their grasp.
Lost to Afghanistan by one run, Dehradun (June 7, 2018)
The three match T20 series against Afghanistan in Dehradun, India, was always going to be tricky as the Afghans are placed higher in the rankings table. The first two games resulted in comprehensive defeats for Bangladesh which meant the final match was all about pride.
Bangladesh were chasing 146 for victory and Rahim (46) once again anchored the chase. But with just nine needed from the final over – bowled by Rashid – Bangladesh fluffed their lines. Rashid got Rahim out of the first ball of the over and with four needed from the final delivery, kept the scoring down to two to secure a one-run victory.
Bangladesh have ended their search for a new head coach by naming former England cricketer Steve Rhodes.
The 53-year-old replaces Sri Lanka’s Chandika Hathurusingha, who stepped down in October after a three-year stint. Rhodes has been given a two-year deal until the 2020 World Twenty20 in Australia.
“Bangladesh is “a wonderful Cricket nation. The support that the boys get in the Bangladesh team is tremendous,” he said.
“Personally to be involved in a major role, to be given the responsibility by the President and Board, is a fantastic honour and it’s a privilege to be involved in Bangladesh Cricket.”
BCB's list of coaching candidates since Nov 2017— Mohammad Isam (@Isam84) June 5, 2018
Andy Flower ❌
Steve Rhodes ✅❓
The Bangladesh Cricket Board roped in former India coach Gary Kirsten as its consultant to help it find the right person for the job.
“Steve Rhodes was on top of our list. His name was also in Kirsten’s list. We spoke to him face to face today and we are satisfied fully,” BCB head Nazmul Hassan said.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Rhodes, brings a lot of experience to his role with 11 Tests and nine ODI appearances. He coached Worcestershire for 11 years until being sacked.
Bangladesh Cricket Board decided to retain interim coach Courtney Walsh for next month’s Twenty20 international series against Afghanistan.
Bangladesh have been playing without a head coach since Chandika Hathurusingha stepped down in October after three years in the hot seat.
Afghanistan will host Bangladesh for a three-match T20 series in the north Indian city of Dehradun from June 3 to 7.
The series precedes Afghanistan’s first-ever Test against India in Bengaluru from June 14.
The Bangladesh board had recently appointed former South African batsman and India coach Gary Kirsten as a consultant to find their next coach.
After his appointment, Walsh said his target will be to keep the players focused.
“We won’t be thinking of losing and having a fear of losing. If we back ourselves, play good cricket, (we) will win,” Walsh was quoted as saying by AFP.
“They are ahead of us in ranking in T20s, which is something we are mindful of. It will be a good contest. I am backing my team to do their job but we are not going to be complacent.”
Afghanistan are ranked eighth in Twenty20 Internationals, two places above Bangladesh.