Australia crashed to a fifth straight T20I series loss despite a hat-trick on debut from paceman Nathan Ellis and a Mitchell Marsh half-century, as Bangladesh celebrated a special landmark in Dhaka.
Chasing Bangladesh’s 127-9, Australia finished at 117-4 on Friday, giving the hosts a 10-run win and an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series. The victory clinched their first series triumph against Australia in any format.
Australia were well placed at 71-1 in the 13th over, but wickets in hand counted for little down the stretch as their batsmen again struggled.
Following up scores of 45 in each of the first two matches, Marsh scored 51 off 47 balls and combined with Ben McDermott (35 off 41) for a second wicket stand of 63, Australia’s highest partnership of the series.
But the runs dried up and Australia went 29 balls without a boundary. They needed 34 of the last three overs but Marsh was caught at long off from the first ball of the 18th over.
They took 11 off the over, but could only take a single off the 19th bowled by Mustafizur Rahman (0-9 off four), who again bamboozled Australia’s batsmen with his variety and control.
With 22 needed off the last over, Alex Carey (20 not out off 15) hit the first ball for six but offspinner Mahedi Hasan held his nerve.
“We just didn’t take the opportunities with the bat which was disappointing,” Australian captain Matthew Wade said, with his side having failed to score more than 121 in any match in the series.
Once again, the bowlers did well and it was Ellis who grabbed the headlines as the first ever to take a hat-trick on a T20I debut, though he had to wait for his success.
After going for 29 off his first three wicketless overs, the Tasmania and Hobart Hurricanes paceman (3-34 off four overs) struck with the last three balls of the innings.
He bowled Bangladesh captain and top scorer Mohammad Mahmudullah (52 off 53 balls) and had Mustafizur Rahman and Mahedi Hasan caught on the legside by Marsh and Ashton Agar respectively.
“Its pretty amazing and something I’ll cherish forever,” Ellis said. Asked what went through his mind before the hat-trick delivery, Ellis joked “Don’t get hit for six! For me it was pretty simple: just bowl to my field and hopefully it goes my way, which thankfully it did.”
Ellis was originally named as a travelling reserve for the tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh, with fellow quicks Pat Cummins, Jhye and Kane Richardson and Daniel Sams unavailable.
He was promoted to the main squad earlier in the week after Riley Meredith suffered a side strain. “I’m under no illusions to the fact that it’s taken a global pandemic and some boys who have spent a lot of time in bubbles and quarantine to need a break, for me to get here,” Ellis said.
The three other bowlers to bowl their full complement of overs – paceman Josh Hazlewood (2-16) and spinners Adam Zampa (2-24) and Agar (0-23) – all kept the batsmen on a tight rein.
They were backed up by excellent fielding, with some good catches taken and a couple of direct hit run outs from Carey and Moises Henriques.
Earlier, Australia struck with successive deliveries to have the home team reeling at 3-2 after just 11 balls. A partnership of 44 in six overs between Mahmudullah and Shakib Al Hasan (26 off 17) helped Bangladesh recover.
The series continues on Saturday with Wade taking some inspiration from the big day for Ellis. “It’s a funny game, cricket,” said the captain. “He could have gone none for 34, but last three balls he’s gone 3-34. It can turn around really quickly – and that’s how we’ll look at the rest of the series.”