MIRPUR: Australia signed off their disappointing World Twenty20 campaign with a consolation victory over Bangladesh as opener Aaron Finch’s brisk 71 secured a seven-wicket win over the hosts on Tuesday. Opting to bat first, Shakib Al Hasan (66) and captain Mushfiqur Rahim (47) shared a 112-run third-wicket stand to help Bangladesh to a competitive total of 153 for five wickets at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. Smarting from a hat-trick of defeats in a tournament they began as one of the favourites, Australia’s only interest in their final Group Two game was to finish with a victory which they achieved with 15 balls to spare.
Openers Finch and David Warner (48) added 98 runs in just over 11 overs to ensure they got the perfect start to chase down a moderate target against a side who finished their super 10 campaign without a victory. Paceman Al-Amin Hossain bowled Warner in the 12th over but not before the left-hander had struck three sixes and five fours in his 35-ball knock. Finch took 35 balls to reach his half-century and hit four sixes and seven fours before becoming Al-Amin’s second victim.
Seeking that elusive super-10 victory against a winless Australia, Mushfiqur’s decision to bat first appeared to be back-firing as the hosts lost both the openers for 12 in the fourth over. Shakib and Mushfiqur steadied the innings, however, before negating Australia’s short-ball ploy with some crisp hitting in their century stand from 13 overs. Shakib was harsh on anything short, hitting three sixes and five fours in his 52-ball innings and his aggression rubbed off on Rahim who helped himself to five boundaries and a six.
LAHORE: A rapid 87 off 62 balls and two wickets from Mukhtar Ahmed set up Pakistan A’s ...