Bangladesh Sails Into Super10 After Tamim Ton
The relatively inexperienced Oman side had done very well to stretch its life in the ICC World Twenty20 2016 till the final game of the group stage, but Bangladesh, led by an unbeaten 63-ball 103 from Tamim Iqbal, proved too strong and ensured there would be no continuation of the team's fairytale run.
Tamim’s whirlwind knock was the first Twenty20 International century by a Bangladesh batsman, and carried his side to a massive 180 for 2 in its 20 overs after being put in to bat. Sabbir Rahman too contributed with 44 from 26 balls.
Oman’s chase was marred by two rain interruptions after which the target was revised to 120 in 12 overs. Oman managed to bat through its innings, but didn't come close to the target, ending on 65 for 9 to subside to a 54-run loss via the Duckworth-Lewis method.
More than the number of runs Tamim has scored, Bangladesh will be happy with the manner in which he has batted according to situation. Against Netherlands, when wickets were tumbling at the other end, he took his time, paced his innings and made an invaluable 83 not out. In the following rain-curtailed match against Ireland, he unleashed the avatar he is known for, smashing a quickfire 47.
On Sunday (March 13), Tamim combined the two approaches to perfection. He gave himself a little bit of time to settle down on a slow pitch, before opening up for a relentless attack.
The innings started with Soumya Sarkar not finding his touch during a 22-ball 12 before falling in the seventh over to Ajay Lalchetta, the left-arm spinner, while attempting a big hit.
But the exit worked in Bangladesh's favour. Tamim found an able ally in Sabbir, who adjusted to the pitch quickly and found the boundaries with deft touches.
It allowed Tamim to feel comfortable enough to take his chances and runs began flowing freely. He reached his half-century off 35 balls and celebrated it with a massive six over long-off as Bangladesh's 100 came in the 13th over.
It was a great position to be in, and the perfect platform for the carnage that followed. Oman unleashed a barrage of spinners but Tamim and Sabbir countered them by stepping out and hitting sixes down the ground.
Sabbir was bowled around his legs by Khawar Ali’s leg-spin off the last ball of the 16th over, ending the 97-run second-wicket stand, but there was no end to Bangladesh's run spree. Tamim kept hitting sixes, and went past his century in the 19th over, driving Bilal Khan through mid-off. It was a fitting way to bring up the milestone considering he scored most of his runs down the ground.
Shakib Al Hasan too contributed his share, and Bangladesh ended on a score that proved to be well beyond Oman’s reach.
Oman’s attack wasn’t short of spirit or discipline but lacked the experience. The pitch required them to bowl a number of cutters or slow bouncers, whereas they bowled too full or on a good length. Bilal, though, was an exception, conceding just 16 runs from his four overs.
Oman needed a miracle of sorts from its batsmen, but once Zeeshan Maqsood and Khawar Ali were taken out by Bangladesh’s pacers, the challenge got immeasurably tougher. Jatinder Singh and Adnan Ilyas hung around for a while before rain arrived a little after 10pm, changing the equation to an improbable 111 more needed from nine overs.
Twelve more balls, two more wickets, and another spell of rain changed the equation to 75 more runs needed from 22 balls. Oman combusted after the break handing Shakib – who finished with 4 for 15 - the majority of the wickets.
Eventually though, the group stage ended with the best side going through to the Super 10s.
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