World T20: Bangladesh open account with unconvincing eight-run victory over the Netherlands

Bangladesh beat the Netherlands by eight runs in Dharamsala to kick start their World T20 campaign with a win

World T20: Bangladesh open account with unconvincing eight-run victory over the Netherlands
Tamim Iqbal played a match-winning knock of 83 (image via: cricinfo)

In the opening match of Group A at the 2016 World T20, Bangladesh came out on top by eight runs in their clash with the Netherlands.

Bangladesh made 153-7, thanks mainly to a wonderful unbeaten knock of 83 from Tamim Iqbal, before restricting the Dutch to 145-7 from their 20 overs, to prevail by eight runs. 

The Asia Cup finalists were far from convincing though and will have to show improvements if they are to fulfill their favourites tag in Group A. 

The beautiful setting in Dharamsala hosts the opening Group A game (image via: Twitter- The Cricketer)

Tamim hits unbeaten 83 as Bangladesh post 153

After being inserted by the Dutch, Tamim Iqbal was the only Bangladeshi batsman who was able to get to grips with the slow wicket. His unbeaten 83 from 58 balls helped the Tigers post a competitive total of 153 from their 20 overs. 

After surviving an early drop, Tamim's opening partner Soumya Sarkar was the first man to go inside the fourth over. Paul van Meekeren, who had embarrassingly dropped Sarkar on two, made amends by dismissing the batsman with his first delivery of the match.

The in-form Sabbir Rahman then came to the crease, and despite starting slowly, looked to be settling into his innings when he smashed Roelof van der Merwe for a huge six over long-on. That was the end of the fun though for Rahman, who was trapped LBW next delivery by van der Merwe to end his knock of 15. 

With Tamim continuing to go well at one end, unfortunately for the Tigers, his partners at the other end were struggling to get the ball away. That frustration caused the wicket of Shakib Al Hasan, who swiped at a short wide ball, which he edged straight to Peter Borren who took an elementary catch. 

Van der Gugten picks up three poles as Tigers crumble 

The much vaunted Bangladesh middle-order did not perform well on the Dharamsala pitch, and continued to give their wickets away as the innings progressed. 

It didn't all go the Dutch's way though, and they could have restricted their opponents to an even lower total. Wicket-keeper Wesley Barresi missed a pretty simple stumping of Tamim, when the left-hander was on just 46, which eventually cost his side 37 runs. 

Timm van der Gugten was the main beneficiary for the Dutch, picking up three wickets as the Asians were held in check. He knocked over Mahmudullah for 10, and followed it up two balls later with the wicket of Mushfiqur Rahim for a second-ball duck, to leave Bangladesh on 112-5 with five overs remaining. 

The wickets continued to tumble around Tamim, with Nasir Hossain (3) and Mashrafe Mortaza (7) falling to van Meekeren and van der Gugten respectively. The last over however, certainly went Bangladesh's way, with Tamim and Arafat Sunny each hitting maximums off of Logan van Beek, to give the favourites some much-needed impetus going into the second innings. 

Dutch chase starts strongly behind Myburgh sweeps 

The Netherlands started their chase well, and were well up with the rate in search of the 154 runs needed for victory. Despite losing Barresi early on for 9, Stephan Myburgh and Ben Cooper put the Dutch in a strong position after eight overs at 53-1. 

The left-handed Myburgh was taking a liking to the spinners, bringing out his sweep on a number of occasions in his innings of 29. He was eventually bowled by Nasir for 29, with Cooper then following a couple of overs later to the bowling of Shakib for 20. 

Just as it seemed as though the Bangladesh bowlers were turning the screw, Dutch captain Borren led a counter-attack which kept his side in touch before he was caught on the boundary for 29. 

Taskin & Mortaza cramp batsmen to edge Tigers home

Bangladesh turned to their seamers to see the side home, and they did just that, executing their yorkers and slower balls immaculately.

Mortaza ended up conceding just 14 runs from his four overs in an excellent, while designated death bowler Taskin Ahmed was almost impossible to get away with his deliveries consistently in the block-hole.

There was a late charge by Mudassar Bukhari who smashed 14 off five balls before he was run-out by Sarkar, with that wicket all-but ending the Dutch hopes of a shock win. 

Taskin held his nerve to help a surely relieved Tigers side home by eight runs, to get their Group A campaign off to a winning start.