Bangladesh tail nips Brits
CHITTAGONG – Bangladesh tail-enders Shafiul Islam and Mahmudullah became the toast of the nation yesterday after steering their team to a stunning two-wicket World Cup win over England.
The co-hosts looked to be probably heading out of the competition with England progressing to the last eight when they slumped to 169-8 chasing 226 to win on an unpredictable wicket with the ball reverse swinging.
But Shafiul decided attack was the best way ahead and blasted 24 in as many balls to carry his team over the line for the unlikeliest of wins as the home crowd went wild.
Earlier, Jonathan Trott top-scored for England with 67, backed up by Eoin Morgan (63) to help their side recover from a poor start to reach 225 all out in the Group B clash.
The result was an amazing turnaround for the home side who were skittled for just 58 against West Indies a week ago in Dhaka before losing by nine wickets.
“You never know with cricket. It’s unbelievable,” said vice-captain Tamim Iqbal. “We knew that he [Shafiul] could bat but not like that.”
Mahmudullah (21) and Shafiul added 58 runs in their unbroken ninth-wicket stand to take their team to victory with an over left.
Bangladesh had been apparently cruising towards victory thanks to solid innings from Imrul Kayes (60) and Tamim (38).
But they suddenly lost momentum with the victory in sight as five wickets tumbled for 14 runs, which prompted hundreds of disgruntled fans to file out of the stadium.
Unfortunately for those spectators, they missed out on witnessing one of Bangladesh’s greatest World Cup victories, as Shafiul and Mahmudullah rescued their country with their sparkling partnership.
“At 169-8 I thought we’d lost the game, but Mahmudullah and Shaiful showed how tough they are and they batted exceptionally well and it paid off,” said a beaming Shakib, whose house was stoned by angry fans following the defeat by West Indies.
“When they hit the last ball then I believed it but before then I never believed they could win us the game,” he added. (Reuters)