Bangladesh Beat New Zealand. Only a handful of people, apart from die-hard fans of Bangladesh, would have anticipated this result. The feeling is just beyond fantastic. This is also a rude wake-up call for New Zealand. A reality check of sorts. Bangladesh was easily the better team on the day that mattered in the first round.
So what happened? A summary. Bangladesh walked in to bat with a target of 266. That is a good number for any team to score. And then, in the very first over, second ball, Tamim was out. For a duck. Bangladesh barely got over the first loss when Rahman was caught. 10/2. Things looked bad. There were good shots hit in between yes, but the loss of early wickets always have an impact on the batsmen that follow. The morale takes a hit. When Soumya Sarkar, who came in with the burden of his nation, was out in the fifth over; I’m sure many began to call it.
But then, it’s not over until the fat lady sings. After the fall of Mushfiqur Rahim, the turn of events was radical. Shakib and Mahmudullah played a steady game. The shots were not just good, they were smashing. Soon, the final ten overs needed 70 runs win. Considering the early losses, Bangladesh were in a very good place indeed. With a double hundred partnership, the duo paved the road to an astonishing victory. By the time Shakib was out for 114, his team needed just 9 runs from 21 balls. It was just a matter of time.
Bangladesh won by five wickets with 16 balls to spare.
Earlier in the day, Bangladesh had a good start with four dot balls on the trot. NZ had just one run on the board after the first over. After that delayed start for both the match as well as NZ, the runs on the board increased in leaps and bounds. The bowling was not bad at all. Wickets did fall at regular intervals. The Kiwis finished with a total of 265, with major contributions from Williamson (57) and Ross Taylor (63). The rest of the batting collapsed.
Something they have been consistent about.
Brilliant hundreds from Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah ensured a win for Bangladesh. It does not matter how many tournaments you have won. The team that plays better on the D-day will always win.