Bangladesh have an up and down run until now, but what they have done well is to ensure that they don’t falter against sides ranked lower than them. Staying in tune with this trend, they got the better of a spirited Scotland outfit at Nelson on Thursday. Thanks to the washout of the match against Australia, Bangladesh got some lucky points. And, now if they manage to overcome England somehow, there is every possibility of them making it to the last eight in place of the latter. It’s a big ask, but looking at England’s present state, not an impossible one.
Coming back to the game against Scotland, Bangladesh demonstrated what experience at the international level can do. Scotland have rarely been in a situation where they have had to defend a 300 plus score, and it showed in the way they bowled. Bangladesh, on the other hand, may have faltered in most chases of 300 or more, but the fact is that they have been out in the middle in such tense circumstances, and those high-tension moments of the past aided them against a team that had no clue how to defend a big score. The game was another illustration of why the associates must play more against lower ranked sides to gain exposure.
Undoubtedly, Bangladesh’s batting stood out against a mediocre Scotland bowling attack. Tamim Iqbal may have disappointed numerous times in the past, but on Thursday, he was in his elements, and put up an inspired batting show to lead the way for his team. He ensured that the early loss of Soumya Sarkar did not affect the side’s chances. In a big chase, it is important that at least one opener occupies the crease for a majority of the overs. This is what Iqbal did so well at Nelson. Although he was unlucky not to have reached his hundred, his did ensure that the run rate always stayed in control.
The most impressive aspect of Bangladesh’s batting stint on Thursday was that it was a complete team effort with the bat. All the experienced men put their hands up and delivered. Mahmudullah was promoted up at number three, and he gave excellent company to Tamim. Even after departed, Mushfiqur Rahim came in and continued the good work in the company of the opener. Impressively, Bangladesh never took things lightly during the chase, and hence never seemed in any sort of trouble. Rahim played some blazing shorts during his breezy half-century, and Shakib Al Hasan came in to prove why he is among the best in the business during the latter stages.
In spite of the loss, it wasn’t all dull for Scotland. Their impressive opener Kyle Coetzer stood out once again. He played a brilliant knock, and Scottish fans would remember this maiden World Cup ton for their country with great fondness. Such a wonderful knock did not deserve to end up on the losing side, but the fact is that the rest of the players couldn’t do much, either with the bat or ball. Scotland should get better with experience, provided they are presented with the opportunities they desire.
--By A Cricket Analyst