Bangladesh show who are the boss

The Port-of-Spain victory was a hell of an effort from Bangladesh but it cannot be denied that India allowed themselves to be dictated by Bangladesh which turned out to be significant factor in deciding the final outcome of the match.

India vs Bangladesh, ICC World Cup, Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, March 17, 2007

 

Bangladesh won by 5 wickets

 

Sheer embarrassment, sheer disgrace, sheer frustration, call it whatever you want but that’s the kind of bitter feeling it left in the minds of every Indian witnessing India’s shocking five-wicket thrashing at the hands of lowly Bangladesh at Queens Park Oval at Port-of-Spain.

 

Hang on; it’s not much for India’s defeat but the manner in which it capitulated which left a deep disappointment all around. Nobody would have reacted strongly against the defeat if it was a well fought contest but it was not – rather, it was plain surrender something billion fans wouldn’t have bargained for, that too, in the World Cup opener.

 

Skipper Rahul Dravid did only one thing right: winning the toss and batting first. After that, nothing went right for India. Virender Sehwag’s lean run with the bat took an unwelcome extension much to the delight of Mashrafe Mortaza. Robin Uthappa preferred flamboyance over discretion and soon India were looking like minnows than their so-called opponents at 21 for two.

 

Once the Bangladesh seamers did the early damage, it was the turn of their spinners to teach some of the best players of spinners in world cricket some hard lessons. Abdur Razzak was bowling like a seasoned campaigner, at least, the way in which he beat Sachin Tendulkar all ends up to be caught at the wicket would suggest that.

 

Skipper Dravid failed to enact the captain-lead-from-the-front act and suddenly India were 72 for four with almost half their overs consumed. At this juncture, the Indian innings required not just a rock-solid stand but also run-scoring at a fair clip as India hardly looked like setting Bangladesh a formidable target.

 

It needed the experience of Sourav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh to bring some semblance of stability to the Indian innings but the pace of scoring left a lot to be desired. Yuvraj looked the most fluent Indian batsmen but the lack of momentum from the other end held them back as Ganguly struggled to be at his aggressive best.

 

Indian hopes of a final assault looked on track with the score on 157 for four after 42 overs but the innings fell apart after the departure of Yuvraj and Ganguly. Mortaza accounted for Munaf Patel to finish with returns of four for 38, as India were all out for 191 in 49.3 overs.

 

Tamin Iqbal ensured the Tigers were no way going to make heavy weather of the modest total, propelling Bangladesh chase with a blistering half-century.  The young left-hander was batting like it was his 100th one-day international and not his fifth one-day international, creaming the Indian bowlers to all parts of the Queens Park Oval. A pulled six over mid-wicket off Zaheer Khan while charging down the wicket in the 11th over was the best out of the lot and would have even made someone like Mark Greatbach proud. “I am never overawed by the opposition and whatever the circumstances I will play my natural game. I am happy that my maiden fifty has come in a winning cause,” Tamim once said about his rollicking knock.

 

Bangladesh lost some momentum with the fall of Tamim’s wicket but whatever slender hopes India had of spoiling the rare winning opportunity of Bangladesh was laid to rest by half-centuries from Shakib Al-Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahman as they reached 192 for five with nine balls to spare.

 

The match was talked about as a huge upset of the 2007 World Cup but someone like former Bangladesh captain Raqibul Hasan gets riled when people talk of that win as an ‘upset’. “Many are trying to term it as an upset: Why? I request them not to use this word to denounce the performance or strength of the team,” he said about that magnificent win.

 

The Port-of-Spain victory was a hell of an effort from Bangladesh but it cannot be denied that India allowed themselves to be dictated by Bangladesh which turned out to be significant factor in deciding the final outcome of the match.

 

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