Tigers roar, Dutch cringe
Despite another emphatic win, Bangladesh keep their fingers crossed. Nilankur Das reports. Scorecard | Magnificent fivecricket Updated: Mar 15, 2011 02:25 IST
Bangladesh have done their bit in the World Cup. After shocking England on Friday, they shut out the Netherlands at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium on Monday.
With six points from five matches, they are fourth in the group behind India, the West Indies and South Africa.
But with England and Ireland still in with a chance to beat them to the quarterfinal berth, the home team now faces the biggest challenge - to beat South Africa in their last group league match in Mirpur on Saturday.
So, it's a wait now for a nation that has put everything on the backburner - from a stock market crash to its only Nobel laureate, Muhammad Yunus, being sacked by a government-backed bank - to celebrate cricket.
First, they will follow Tuesday's match between South Africa and Ireland at Eden Gardens. A loss for the latter would mean an end to Ireland's campaign. Then, they will hope the West Indies beat England.
Having recorded one of their biggest wins in World Cup history on Friday, against England, Bangladesh had barely come out of the euphoria when they took on the Netherlands on Monday in one of the very few matches they were expected to win. Once again, their bowlers did the trick.Left-arm spinner Suhrawadi Shuvo was included in the 11 in place of offie Naeem Islam because there are no left-handers in the Netherlands batting line-up. Opening with medium-pacer Shafiul Islam, who bowled a miserly line, and left-arm spinner, Abdur Razzak, Bangladesh exerted pressure right from the start.
The Dutch were quick to realise that the wicket was playing slow and low and scoring freely would not be easy. So, they resorted to quick singles but threw caution to the wind. As many as four run-outs, two of them at crucial junctures, did not help and finally Ryan ten Doeschate (53 not out) ran out of partners.
A paltry score of 160 was not supposed to trouble Bangladesh. But when Mudassar Bukhari bowled Tamim Iqbal off the fourth ball of the innings, it seemed the hosts were in for a long haul.
But Imrul Kayes took off from where he had left against England and anchored the Bangladesh batting to bag his second 'Man-of-the-Match' award in the World Cup.
Back-to-back wins have sent Bangladesh's confidence soaring and, though skipper Shakib Al-Hasan jokingly said that given a choice he would prefer England to lose so that Bangladesh make it to the last-eight, he added: "Ideally, we should look to beat the South Africans in the next match and that would take us to the quarterfinals. It's as simple as that. We do not want to sit and wait for the outcome of other matches."