Bangladesh advanced to the Super-8 stage of the T20 World Cup with a 21-run win over Nepal on Sunday, with the Netherlands bowing out with a loss to Sri Lanka.

Just two days on from their agonising one-run loss to South Africa, Nepal had another high-profile side on the ropes as Bangladesh were skittled for just 106.

No Bangladesh player made more than Shakib Al Hasan's 17 runs as Dipendra Singh Airee (2-22), Rohit Paudel (2-20) and Sandeep Lamichhane (2-17) all impressed with the ball. 

However, a blistering opening spell from Tanzim Hasan Sakib, who finished with career-best T20I figures of 4-7 – ensured that measly figure was enough. 

Tanzim got the ball rolling by dismissing Kushal Bhurtel and Anil Sah within three third-over deliveries, then had Paudel and Sundeep Jora caught as Nepal fell to 26-5.

Kushal Malla steadied the ship somewhat, but his match-high 27 runs came off 40 deliveries as Mustafizur Rahman (3-7) and Shakib (2-9) bowled efficiently, the former's ball accounting for his dismissal as he looped a shot to Najmul Hossain Shanto at mid off.

Nepal went into the final over needing 22 to see a spirited performance rewarded with a victory, but their final two wickets fell from the first two balls as Bangladesh clinched second place in Group D, behind South Africa.

That result ended the Netherlands' hopes of progression, and their tournament ended with a whimper as they suffered an 81-run defeat to Sri Lanka in Kingstown.

Sri Lanka set a daunting target of 202 – the joint-highest of the tournament to date, alongside Australia versus England – with Kusal Mendis and Charith Asalanka making 46 runs apiece, the latter hitting five sixes off 21 balls.

The demoralised Dutch fell well short in their chase and were all out for 118 with three overs remaining, Nuwan Thushara helping himself to a hat-trick for Sri Lanka.

Data Debrief: Paltry total enough for Bangladesh

Bangladesh supporters might have been twitchy when they limped to just 106 against a Nepal team who have threatened an upset repeatedly at this tournament, but some composed bowling ensured it was enough.

Their tally of 106 runs was the lowest to ever be successfully defended at a T20 World Cup.

Adam Zampa hit a milestone as Australia reached the Super 8s of the T20 World Cup with a resounding nine-wicket thrashing of Namibia.

Leg-spinner Zampa took 4-12 to reach a century of wickets in the shortest format, as Namibia were bowled out for just 72 in 17 overs in Antigua.

Australia needed just 34 balls to surpass that total, with Travis Head's unbeaten 34 from 17 deliveries propelling them to a comprehensive win.

David Warner (20) was the only Australian to lose his wicket, with captain Mitchell Marsh (18 not out) hitting the winning runs.

Australia are now top of Group B ahead of facing surprise package Scotland on Sunday. 

Tuesday's other match, between Sri Lanka and Nepal, was called off due to rain without a ball having been bowled.

The abandonment of that match in Florida means that Sri Lanka's hopes of qualifying for the next round are all but over.

Sri Lanka are bottom of Group D with just one match left to play, against the Netherlands on Monday.

Data Debrief: Zampa makes history

Zampa is the first Australian to reach the century landmark for wickets in T20Is, while his 12 runs conceded against Namibia is the joint-lowest total of any player for Australia from a full four overs in a T20 World Cup match.

Gerhard Erasmus was the only player to impress for Namibia. He scored 36 runs, 50 per cent of his team's total. 

That is the highest proportion of any batter in a Namibia T20 World Cup innings.

he International Cricket Council (ICC) has promised ground staff will try to “remedy” ongoing problems with the drop-in pitches at its showcase ground in New York.

Cricket’s world governing body publicly acknowledged for the first time since the T20 World Cup began that there have been teething issues with the surfaces.

While players and coaches have so far refused to criticise the pitches at the venue, BBC Sport understands India has privately voiced their unhappiness with the unpredictable bounce and two-paced nature of the strips in Eisenhower Park amid worries over the safety of their batters.

“The ICC recognise that the pitches used so far at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium have not played as consistently as we would have all wanted,” the ICC said in a statement.

“The world-class grounds team have been working hard since the conclusion of yesterday’s game to remedy the situation and deliver the best possible surfaces for the remaining matches.”

Concerns have grown over the unpredictable nature of surfaces after the first two fixtures played at the venue.

 

On Monday, Sri Lanka were bowled out by South Africa for 77 – their lowest score in T20s – while India dismissed Ireland for 96 on Wednesday.

India play Pakistan on Sunday at the venue in Eisenhower Park in one of the most eagerly-anticipated fixtures of the tournament with a capacity crowd of 32,000 expected.

ICC officials have maintained there are no contingency plans in place to switch any of the New York games to venues in Florida or Texas, both of which have natural turf strips.

The US is staging 16 of the 55 matches at the T20 World Cup, which it is co-hosting with the West Indies.

The pop-up stadium in New York cost $32 million to construct and was built inside eight months to much fanfare from the tournament organisers.

Six of the trays which transported the soil for the 10 Tahoma grass surfaces came from Australia before being shipped to Florida where the pitches were cultivated.

The soil variety has a high clay content, similar to the pitches in Adelaide.

They were then transported to New York by road and installed a few weeks before the tournament began.

The outfield is made up of Kentucky bluegrass, grown at a farm in New Jersey, on top of sand.

There was discontent with the pitch after Monday’s opening match in which South Africa were able to stroll to their victory target against Sri Lanka with 22 deliveries remaining, while India had 46 balls left when they hit the winning runs in another low-scoring match against Ireland.

It has meant the toss in New York has become pivotal in determining the outcome of the match, with the team bowling first at an advantage.

Batters have had to fend off short-pitched bowling, with balls climbing off a length while others skid along at ankle height through to the wicketkeeper.

A clear diagnosis for the problems has not yet been identified.

Similarly, the sizes of the boundaries – 75m and 65m on each side, and 71m straight – and slow outfield have inhibited run scoring with the boundary ropes unable to be pulled in because of ICC tournament guidelines.

As a result, the cricket spectacle delivered by both games so far has been largely underwhelming.

India fans were even cheering for Ireland at one point during their eight-wicket win, hoping the length of the game would be extended so they could see more of their team batting in the second innings.

Concerns have also been raised about the six pitches laid at the net training facility in nearby Cantiague Park.

Earlier this week, South Africa’s batters opted for throw downs as opposed to facing their own bowlers, and local net bowlers, because of injury worries.

Afghanistan's strong start to the T20 World Cup continued on Friday as they dismantled New Zealand with an 84-run victory in Guyana.

It is now two wins in two for Afghanistan, who enjoyed another impressive opening stand as Rahmanullah Gurbaz plundered 80 off 56 balls, including five fours and five boundaries, with Ibrahim Zardan adding 44.

Azmatullah Omarzai's dismissal for 22 saw Afghanistan stumble, but with a respectable 159-6, it was always going to be hard for New Zealand to chase.

The 2021 runners-up could not find their footing, with only two of their players reaching double figures – Glenn Phillips top-scored with 18.

They stumbled to 75 all out in just 15.2 overs, suffering their first T20 international defeat to Afghanistan, and they drop to the bottom of Group C.

Elsewhere, Bangladesh survived a scare to make a winning start to their campaign, getting a two-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in Dallas.

Pathum Nissanka impressed with 47 off just 28 balls, but a flurry of late wickets saw Sri Lanka stumble to 124-9 after a strong start.

Bangladesh’s chase started poorly, with both openers being dismissed in the first two overs. However, after Towhid Hridoy's 40, and Liton Das' 36, Mahmudullah's 16 not out helped them over the line at the end of the 19th over.

Data Debrief: Dominant Afghanistan strike again

Afghanistan have opened an ICC Men's T20 World Cup campaign with back-to-back wins for just the second time, last doing so in 2016. They have now won their last four T20Is, their longest streak since 2022. 

Gurbaz hit 50 for the second game in a row, improving on his 76 runs in their win over Uganada with 80 in this win. 

West Indies slow left-arm orthodox bowler Gudakesh Motie is reaping the benefits of his consistent performances in recent times, as he has been shortlisted for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Player of the Month awards, which celebrates the outstanding performers from international competition in May.

The Guyanese, who is currently on duty with the West Indies at the ICC Men's T20 World Cup, is joined by Pakistan's Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Ireland's Lorcan Tucker on the men's list released by ICC on Friday. The women's list is headlined by Sri Lankan captain Chamari Athapaththu, with England's Sophie Ecclestone and Scotland's captain Kathryn Bryce, the other nominees.

Motie, 29, earned a nomination after his Player of the Series exploits in West Indies whitewash series triumph over South Africa. Similarly, Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi enjoyed a prolific wicket-taking month in his side’s T20I tours of Ireland and England last month, while Ireland's wicketkeeper/batsman Tucker recorded consistent scores against Pakistan, Netherlands and Scotland in his side’s preparations for the T20 World Cup.

Like Motie, Afridi and Tucker are both on duty at the T20 World Cup being hosted in the Caribbean and United States.

Meanwhile, two stars from the recently concluded ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier in the UAE are nominated in the Women’s Player of the Month category, alongside an England spin sensation.

Sri Lankan skipper Athapaththu is nominated for the second month in a row after topping the run-scoring charts in Abu Dhabi and hitting a sparkling century in the final match. She is joined by Scotland skipper Bryce, who led her side to an historic first qualification for a women’s World Cup event thanks to memorable individual contributions. England’s Ecclestone is the third name in contention, nominated for more wicket-taking feats as her side overcame Pakistan in both shorter formats last month.

An independent ICC Voting Academy and fans around the world will now be invited to cast their votes to decide the winners, which will be announced next week. Fans are now able to vote for their favourite performers at icc-cricket.com/awards.

Shaheen Shah Afridi

ICC Men’s Player of the Month Nominees for May:

Gudakesh Motie (WI)

The West Indies’ left-arm spinner enjoyed plenty of success in the home series against South Africa in May, taking eight wickets across three matches at an average of 8.50, as the hosts sealed a statement 3-0 victory in Jamaica. Motie took three for 25 in the opening contest to restrict the tourists’ chase and he backed that performance up with another impressive spell of three for 22 to stifle the middle order in the second fixture. Another two wickets in the final match turned the tide in favour of the hosts once more and allowed the 29-year-old to claim the Player of the Series accolade.

Shaheen Shah Afridi (PAK)

Pakistan’s frontline pacer is nominated for the second successive month after another blistering spell of fast bowling in May. Afridi took ten wickets in his five T20I contests during the month, which included three consecutive three-wicket hauls. Spells of three for 49 and three for 14 against Ireland helped Pakistan overturn a series deficit to win in Dublin, before the 24-year-old followed up with three for 36 against England in Birmingham. The three-time nominee has never won a Men’s Player of the Month award but has a strong case to claim his maiden prize.

 

Lorcan Tucker (IRE)

The wicketkeeper-batter aims to become the first Irish winner of the Men’s Player of the Month award since Harry Tector in May 2023, and is nominated thanks to explosive run-scoring feats during a busy month of international competition. Tucker top-scored for Ireland in the second and third matches against Pakistan with successive quickfire scores of 51 and 73, and carried that momentum into the tri-series against Scotland and Netherlands, hitting 40 and 55 as Ireland sealed confidence boosting wins ahead of their ICC Men’s T20 World Cup campaign.