Bangladeshis 7 for 288 (Dhiman Ghosh 56, Mashrafe Mortaza 56, Smith 3-56) beat Australian Institute of Sports 8 for 284 (Hill 59, Shahadat Hossain 3-64) by three wickets
Mashrafe Mortaza and Dhiman Ghosh combined for an unbeaten 97-run eighth-wicket partnership that gave Bangladesh their first win on their Australian tour. Thanks to the lower-order fightback Bangladesh got home with 31 balls to spare against the Australian Institute of Sports (AIS) in Darwin.
After losing their opening tour match on Monday, Bangladesh were keen for a stronger bowling performance and although the AIS posted 8 for 284, there were some positive signs for the tourists. Shahadat Hossain picked up three wickets as the AIS batsmen got starts but each failed to register a huge score.
Economical spells from Mashrafe and Abdur Razzak also frustrated the AIS, who altered their batting line-up after Monday's win. Michael Hill (59), the Victoria rookie, was the only man to manage a half-century, although their total appeared to be enough when Bangladesh's middle order struggled.
Ashraful's 27-ball 41 provided some entertainment but again the AIS spinners proved a handful, with Steven Smith's legbreaks earning him 3 for 56. At 7 for 191 it seemed like Bangladesh might fail for the second match in three days, but the outstanding partnership from Mashrafe and Dhiman saved the day.
The men each finished unbeaten on 56 to level the series 1-1. "We made a hash of the situation after going so well early on," Ashraful told TigerCricket.com after the match. "The middle order did not do the job and Dhiman and Mortaza showed how it should be done. It needs just one batsman to keep going on such a fine wicket and you don't need to take risks as runs come automatically. The wicket is that good."
While admitting his batsmen messed up, Jamie Siddons, the coach, said his team would take confidence from the win. "If you hit the ball in the air you will get out. It's that simple. We suddenly forgot what was needed and did some silly things," he said. "Thankfully Dhiman and Mortaza kept their head ."
The third game between Bangladesh and the AIS at the Gardens Oval takes place on Saturday.