In their 30-plus years as a cricketing nation, Bangladesh has seen plenty of lows and some highs. However, in the last five years under the captaincy of Mashrafe Mortaza and due to the contributions of players like Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim, Bangladesh has become a dangerous side capable of beating any nation on their given day. In the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, they entered the knockouts for the first time while they also secured bilateral ODI wins against India, South Africa, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. However, just before the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, Bangladesh created history and gave their tournament preparations a big shot in the arm as they defeated the West Indies in the tri-series final and secured their first multi-nation trophy.
Bangladesh had played consistent cricket in the tournament which also included Ireland. They had beaten the West Indies in the two league games and also defeated Ireland to top the group. In the final, Bangladesh chose to bowl in overcast conditions but it seemed Mortaza misread the conditions as the West Indies got off to a blazing start. Shai Hope blasted three fours in one over bowled by Saifuddin while Sunil Ambris took the attack to Mustafizur Rahman by hammering three fours in his first over.
Hope notched up yet another fifty and raised the 100-run opening stand. Ambris also scored a fifty and the opening partnership was assuming dangerous proportions. After Hope launched Mehidy Hasan for a six, the rain came and after a two-hour interruption, the game was reduced to 24-overs-per-side. The rain-break seemed to have swung the momentum towards Bangladesh as they bowled brilliantly in the final four overs and conceded just 21 runs as West Indies ended on 152/1.
Bangladesh’s target was a revised 210 in 24 overs according to the DLS method. Soumya Sarkar started off like a train by hammering three fours in two overs. West Indies did themselves no favours by dropping Tamim Iqbal on 1 and Sarkar made them pay, blasting two fours and a six off Kemar Roach. Sarkar continued to flay West Indies by walloping Shannon Gabriel for a four and a six as Bangladesh notched up the fifty in just five overs.
However, West Indies fought back with Gabriel getting rid of Tamim for 18 and Sabbir Rahman for 0. Sarkar notched up his fifty off just 27 balls and continued to punish the West Indies bowlers as he scored at a strike-rate of over 200. Mushfiqur Rahim gave him good company but when Sarkar departed for 66 off 41 balls and Rahim for an attacking 36, Bangladesh was still some distance away.
Mosaddek Hossain, though, had other ideas and he changed the course of the match comprehensively. After settling into a solid stand with Mahmudullah, Mosaddek blasted three sixes and a four in the 22nd over bowled by Fabian Allen as he registered a fifty off just 20 balls, the third fastest by a Bangladesh batsman in ODIs. Mahmudullah sealed the deal with a boundary. With this win, Bangladesh has shown the world that they are ready to compete in this World Cup.
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