Opener Tamim Iqbal smashed an unbeaten 83 off just 58 deliveries as Bangladesh began their ICC World T20 Qualifiers campaign with an eight-run win over the Netherlands in Dharmasala on Wednesday.
The Dutches took 16 in the 19th over bowled by Al-Amin Hossain to set a tense finish, but Taskin Ahmed held his nerve to contain the opponent lower order to ensure the Tigers do not suffer an upset.
Chasing the Tigers’ total of 153, the losing side threatened every now and then, only to be contained by a controlled Bangladesh bowling.
Stephan Myburgh and Peter Borren both scored 29 while Ben Cooper added 20, but their failure to score big despite showing early promises costed their side a win.
Al-Amin and Shakib Al Hasan bagged two wickets each for the Tigers.
Earlier, man-of-the-match Tamim hit six fours and three sixes in his innings to take the winners to 153 for 7.
It was the left-handed batsman’s first fifty in four years in the shortest form of cricket, but it was also the third highest score by a Bangladeshi in a T20.
Tamim himself holds the record with 88, scored against the West Indies in 2012, while Shakib is next with 84 made with Pakistan the same year.
Fellow opener Soumya Rahman (15) was off to a good start, so did one-down Sabbir Rahman (15), but both lost footing soon.
It was another bad day in the office for big names Shakib Al Hasan (5) and Mushfiqur Rahim (0) while in-form Mahmudulla’s failure to make more than 10 meant the Tigers could only manage a good total, but not a big one.
T van der Gugten was the most successful bowler for Netherlands as he bagged three wickets, including the rare feat of getting both Mushfiq and Mahmudullah bowled in the same over.
PA van Meekeren grabbed a brace.
Bangladesh will play Ireland in their next match on Friday while the Netherlands will play Oman the same day.