Bangladesh vs Pakistan, ICC World Cup, County Ground, Northampton, May 31, 1999
Bangladesh won by 62 runs
Staying motivated for a match after been knocked out of the tournament, can be quite a challenge. Teams play for pride more than anything else. Bangladesh was very much in that situation having been bundled out of the Super Sixes stage in the 1999 World Cup.
Bangladesh’s performance was hugely disappointing for their fans back home, but the dead rubber against Pakistan was one final opportunity to give them something to rejoice about. And Aminul Islam’s boys didn’t disappoint this time, authoring one of the biggest shockers in World Cup history with a 62-run victory at Northampton.
Bangladesh batting side looked refreshingly different from the one that struggled to get a 200-plus score in their earlier four outings. The two Hossains - Shahriar and Mehrab - raised 69 for the opening wicket. Their best opening stand has been a paltry 10 in previous four games.
Burly vice-captain Akram Khan gave the innings the required impetus, stitching a handy stand with skipper Aminul Isam after the exit of the openers.
The familiar tale of a Bangladesh capitulating after a promising partnership seemed to unfold yet again when Akram fell for 42. The team owed a lot to all-rounder Khaled Mahmud (27 off 34 balls) who prevented a late-order collapse and ensure his side had something decent on the board to defend.
Mahmud got into the act with ball as well when he rocked the Pakistan boat early as they launched their chase of 224 for victory. The diminutive bowler packed off Shahid Afridi, Inzamam-ul Haq and Saleem Malik as Pakistan sank to at 42 for five in the 13th over. Azhar Mahmood and Wasim Akram briefly ignited some hope for Pakistan with a defiant sixth-wicket stand but when both departed in quick succession, it was all over for Pakistan - all out for 161 in 44.3 overs.
Sadly, the Bangladesh victory never got the due credit as murmurs of match-fixing rent the air. Pakistan captain Wasim Akram only gave more scope to such talk after the match. “I’m happy we lost to our brothers,” he startlingly said about his side’s defeat.
But it didn’t stop Bangladesh captain Aminul Islam from savouring the moment. “We have made history today. Beating Pakistan, one of the best teams in the world, will help us attain Test status and assist in the development of our younger players.”