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Tough at the top when you're a flop

When it comes to being top of the flops, Bangladesh are in some pretty good bad company.

india Updated: Feb 16, 2003 15:39 IST

When it comes to being top of the flops, Bangladesh are in some pretty good bad company.

The men from Dhaka, currently struggling through the World Cup here, have lost 27 of their last 28 one-day internationals, a sequence only broken when the rains saved them against the West Indies.

Overall, their one-day record reads 63 played and 59 lost, while their Test record is equally uninspiring -- 16 defeats in 17, with the rain again proving their salvation for a draw with Zimbabwe.

In the cricket world, it took some of the burden off New Zealand in the record books -- they took 26 years and 45 Tests before the champagne was poured.

Sport is littered with similar magnificent ineptitude.

The American high school gridiron team of Prairie View lost 80 straight games in the 1990s, scoring just 48 points in the entire 1991 season.

The streak ended in 1998 with a 14-12 win over Langston State.

"One win isn't good enough for me," said running back Kevin Ball. "I don't want people to think it's a fluke."

Alas, the following season Prairie View went 2-9.

Close behind on the roll of dishonour in stats-crazy America are the Southern Wells Raiders, who endured 34 straight defeats from 1971-1978.

It proved to be hereditary -- in the 1980s, they had losing streaks of 25 and 28 games. From 1986-91, they lost 41 in a row only to be later awarded a forfeit win for 1990, which rather ruined the tale.

America's favourite pastime of baseball proved a real test of endurance for the long, unlamented Philadelphia Athletics who, in 1916, lost 117 games.

It meant the A's finished 54 games behind the World Series winners, the Boston Red Sox.

Poor form has to end somewhere and there has to be a fall guy -- just ask British tennis player Greg Rusedski, who played the role at Wimbledon in 2000 when he came up against America's Vince Spadea.

Spadea had gone into their first round match with a 22-game losing run weighing him down.

However, Court One worked its magic as Spadea clinched victory in a five-set thriller.

Flamboyant failure doesn't always mean a permanent life in the gutter.

In 1976, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished their NFL season with a record of 0-14 but consigned that to history with a 48-21 win over the Oakland Raiders in the Super Bowl this year.

Neither is failure limited to the human world.

In July 2001, a 16-year-old horse, Quixall Crossett, lost its 100th race in a row in England.

The response? The horse was immediately elevated to star status with its own website.

First Published: Feb 16, 2003 15:39 IST