Australia’s Twenty20 side staggers to seventh defeat in eight matches

As Peter Bol stopped the nation, Australia’s unseen Twenty20 side staggered to a seventh defeat in eight matches. Comfortably beaten by Bangladesh, the tourists fell 0-2 behind in a series not being broadcast into Australia.

The day after the national limited overs captain Aaron Finch asked for ways to watch the series from hotel quarantine in Melbourne, the resting Glenn Maxwell made a similar appeal for a way around the lack of broadcast options on Twitter.

Stand-in captain Matthew Wade fell to Mustafizur Rahman as Australia slumped to a seventh defeat in eight matches.Credit:Getty Images

At this point the first such blackout of a series by the national men’s team in nearly 30 years is saving as many blushes for the touring party as it is irritating anyone wanting to watch it back home. Winning the toss and batting first, they could only cobble a manifestly inadequate 7-121.

Bangladesh’s chase suffered from early wobbles, before the 21-year-old Afif Hossain and 27-year-old Nurul Hasan combined for a stand of 56 to guide their side home with eight balls to spare. Having never beaten Australia in a T20I two days ago, the hosts can now glimpse a series victory.

There was a sobering reality here: Nurul was only keeping wicket because Australia had declined to allow Bangladesh’s first choice Mushfiqur Rahim from entering the series’ biosecure bubble after he returned home early from Zimbabwe when both his parents contracted COVID-19. Where Australia’s backups have failed, Bangladesh’s stepped up.

The Australians have been listless with the bat, so much so that a couple of sturdy bowling displays have amounted to nothing. In slow, holding conditions they look almost devoid of ideas as to how to take momentum back from their opponents.

Where game one was dominated by the left-arm spin of Nasum Ahmed, the second episode of the series saw Mustafizur Rahman’s cutters and slower balls make several Australian batters look foolish.

Mustafizur has played 145 T20 matches and turned out for three IPL teams. But some of the touring side played him in a manner reminiscent of some of the more hapless Englishmen when they first encountered Shane Warne in 1993 – as though he was a little-known and less understood quantity.

The misjudgments of Josh Philippe, stand-in captain Matthew Wade and Ashton Agar, the last two falling in successive balls to put Mustafizur on a hat-trick, undid virtually all the groundwork done by Mitchell Marsh (45 for the second game in a row) and Moises Henriques in the only substantial partnership of the innings.

Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood both hit the stumps in their opening spells of the Bangladesh chase, before AJ Tye and Agar did likewise and then Adam Zampa coaxed Mahedi Hasan into a stumping after a decidedly fortunate innings.

But from 5-67, Afif and Nurul showed tremendous nerve to ensure the target was hauled in. They did so with the sort of composure the Australians were left to wish they had summoned in game one. A complete Australian performance, however, has been as elusive as finding a way to watch the series.

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