Cricket: Australia pushed by Bangladesh

Australia's Usman Khawaja plays a shot during their ICC World Twenty20 2016 cricket match against Bangladesh. photo / AP
Australia's Usman Khawaja plays a shot during their ICC World Twenty20 2016 cricket match against Bangladesh. photo / AP

Usman Khawaja and Adam Zampa have delivered Australia a three-wicket victory in their must-win World Twenty20 clash with Bangladesh.

Khawaja made a mockery of the helter-skelter format and high stakes, timing the ball sweetly in a measured knock of 58 at Bengaluru.

The dig, coming after Khawaja top-scored against New Zealand in Dharamsala, was further evidence of why selectors picked him to open ahead of Aaron Finch.

Khawaja was part of another concerning collapse, this time 3-24, but Australia hauled in their target of 157 with nine balls remaining.

Match centre with scorecard, wagon wheel and Manhattan/Worm

It was far from convincing with Mitch Marsh, Glenn Maxwell and John Hastings all falling before James Faulkner stroked a ball through covers to bring up the winning runs.

Zampa recorded figures of 3-23 to be named man of the match, while Nathan Coulter-Nile conceded just nine runs in his three-over opening spell to help restrict Bangladesh to 5-156.

Australia, having been beaten by eight runs in their World T20 opener against New Zealand, will almost certainly miss the semi-finals if they suffer another loss in the group stage.

Beating India and Pakistan in Chandigarh will be a much tougher challenge for Steve Smith's side but Bangladesh loomed as a potential banana skin.

Smith was suitably buoyed by a more batsman-friendly pitch than what his side encountered in Dharamsala, where NZ's spinners sliced through the middle order.

The fresh-faced skipper opted to chase and the decision was backed up by Zampa, who put the brakes on Bangladesh when they looked to attack in the middle overs.

Mohammad Mithun was his first victim; the opener pulling a short ball straight to Shane Watson on the rope.

Shuvagata Hom was dropped on zero in the deep by Marsh during the same over, Zampa's first.

The 23-year-old tweaker ensured the damage was minimal, trapping Shuvagata lbw on 13.

Shakib Al Hasan was Zampa's third scalp, the dangerous allrounder guiding the ball straight to Coulter-Nile at short third man.

Mahmudullah teed off against Faulkner, Watson and Coulter-Nile in the final three overs of the innings.

But his unbeaten 49 was a case of too little, too late.

Khawaja looked every bit a zen master, flicking his wrists to pick the gaps in a 62-run opening stand with Watson. Watson was run out for 21, falling short while searching for a second run, before Khawaja and Smith were both bowled.

Things threatened to get interesting when David Warner and Mitch Marsh were both caught by Al Hasan.

Australia needed 22 runs off 22 balls at that stage.

Maxwell effortlessly clipped the next ball off his pads and over the rope then slammed another six in the over.

But he was then stumped off the bowling of Al Hasan but Bangladesh simply didn't have enough runs to play with and made to pay for some woeful fielding that saw them shell two simple catches.

- AAP

- NZ Herald

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