We know every four years for a month world comes together for soccer world cup. People of all ages, language, religion eat, drink, dream soccer. Football becomes universal language. People of Bangladesh are no different. We have similar crazy soccer fans in Bangladesh like Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Germany and any other country. When the soccer euphoria is sill live our own tigers in cricket have added a new feather to their cap. Bangladesh beat England for the first time in its cricket history in any format and that too in England at Bristol. The very satisfying victory in a nail bitting exciting ODI came when Mashrafee led the team to a 5 run victory and thereby squared the three match series one all. The match at Old Trafford on Monday will decide who wins the series. With this historic win Bangladesh has won ODI against all ICC permanent members at least once.
England was riding high after winning T20 world cup and beating Australia. They plotted to win three matches ODI against Bangladesh comfortably to boost their morale after beating Australia in hard fought 5 matches ODI series 3-2. They were so confident that they rested key bowler Swann for the series. The first ODI they won relatively comfortably .Before the start of play at Bristol complacent David Gower and David Lloyd in prematch preview was discussing about batting form of English captain Andrew Starus. England won the toss and put Bangladesh into bat on a greenish wicket under cloudy sky. England had Anderson. Broad, Shezad to exploit the situation. We all know sub continental teams struggle on such wicket , in such situation. Gower thought Bangladesh can not put up competitive score; Staruss will not get opportunity to post a century. Bangladesh made Gower eat his words.
Bangladesh not only put up a competitive score but also won the match playing all-round good cricket. Tigers out gunned vaunted England in all departments. Top order Tamim ,Kayes, Junaid and Jahurul batted with resolve , Tail Enders Mashrafee and Mahmudullah made valuable contributions. All bowlers bowled with great heart, fielding was sharp and agile. Bangladeshis even kept their cool in tight situation and won the match.
Tamim started in usual flamboyant style .But after his brief stay Kayes anchored the innings and Junaid stepped into Tamim shoe. He too left after scoring a brisk 21. The foundation of the innings was laid by a 83 run third wicket solid partnership of Kayes and Young Jahurul .But like recent matches main stay Saquib and Ashraful failed to make substantive contribution. Kayes was still there .Mashrafee and Mahmudullah made useful contributions. Yet the final score of 236 appeared at least 40 short of a formidable target on a smallish ground. But tigers looked resolved and determined. It did not matter that regular keeper Mushfiqur was injured. It did not matter the batting hero of the previous match Roquibul Hasan was unavailable through injury. Masharfee and his men had spring in their legs. Once they withered early storm of Staruss Tigers were always on the hunt. Once openers and Kieswetter were undone by bustling Rubel Hussiain Bangladesh never looked back. Collingwood and Morgan were removed by Razzak. Bell twisted and fractured his ankle while fielding and was stretchered to hospital in ambulance. Heavily strapped Bell was not fit to bat.
At this stage only Jonathon Trott was the thorn for Bangladesh. But he hardly looked convincing.Saquib; Shafiul bowled tight and got the rewards. Ground fielding was sharp and bowling was professional. England still rallied around Trott and with Broad playing some strokes 43 valuable runs were scored at 8th wicket.Pendulam for once swung in England’s favour. But Lion hearted never say die Mashrafee returned and accounted for Broad at a critical stage. Yet Trott fought. Mashrafee removed Anderson and was about to go for victory lap. But an injured Ian Bell with Morgan to run for him limped to saty with Trott to saviour the grace of English lion. The last over of the tense match.Trott was at the strikers end. Six runs were pinched of the first three deliveries with one wide. Young Shafiul did not panic.He let out a well disguised slower delivery. Trott nicked to the keeper .Tigers wrote the history at Bristol in red letters.
In 2010 Bangladesh did not win any cricket match at international level but went tantalisingly close to winning a few. Just the killer instinct was not there. With Mashrafee back at the leadership let us hope that Bangladesh grows winning habit,Congrats Mashrafee and his men for making Bangladeshis proud yet again.