India await a Bermuda miracle
Bangladesh can grab a Super Eights place on Sunday by beating Bermuda and send mighty India crashing out at the same time.
Only a dramatic reversal can stop Bangladesh from marching into the second round for the first time since making their World Cup debut in England in 1999.
Habibul Bashar’s team began the tournament on a sensational note when they defeated higher-ranked India by five wickets in their opening match here. That win alone was enough to boost their chances of entering the Super Eights.
They lost their second match against Sri Lanka, but that is not likely to affect their chances after India’s below-par performances in the four-team group.
Sri Lanka qualified for the next round with an all-win record, virtually knocking India out of the tournament in the process with an emphatic 69-run victory in their last game here on Friday.
India finished their group campaign on a disastrous note as they won just one game against Bermuda, the weakest side in the group.
Bangladesh won two Cup matches in 1999 and none in 2003, but are poised to better their record in the one-day event this time.
They looked a better side against India as they batted, bowled and fielded brilliantly, with their teenagers raising their performances when it mattered most.
India could manage just 191 against an inspired Bangladeshi side, with only Sourav Ganguly (66) and Yuvraj Singh (47) keeping their batting reputations intact against a disciplined pace-spin combination.
Fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza denied India a sound start with two early wickets on a pitch which offered both bounce and movement early in the innings. Spinners Abdur Razzak and Mohammad Rafique then grabbed three wickets apiece.
Bangladesh were well-served by their teenagers Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahman and Saqibul Hasan, who slammed impressive half-centuries to help their team achieve the target with more than an over to spare.
Bashar is looking forward to another good show from his young and enthusiastic side against Bermuda as they are on the verge of making history.
Bermuda have so far not posed any threat to big sides in the group matches, losing by 243 runs to Sri Lanka and by a record 257 runs to India. Their batting failed to click in both the matches as they managed just 78 against Sri Lanka and 156 against India.