Bengaluru, June 3: Bangladesh became the first Asian side to register a win in the 2019 cricket World Cup. In a performance that completely dominated the opponents - South Africa - Mashrafe Mortaza's men first scored a daunting 330 for 6 and then restricted them to 309 for 8 to win by 21 runs.
It is the second time after 2007 that the Tigers have beaten the Proteas at the World Cup. On the earlier occasion, they had beaten SA by 67 runs at Providence.
This is also Bangladesh's best start to a World Cup since 2007 when they had stunned India in the very first match and advanced to the Super Eight. When former world champions from Asia like Pakistan and Sri Lanka have struggled in their opening games especially with the bat, Bangladesh put up the highest score of the tournament so far against a decent bowling attack and won the game too.
The most significant aspect of this win is that it was a flawless team work. None of the Tigers' batsmen scored a century yet the score was pushed to 330, Bangladesh's highest ever total in ODIs. From top to middle to the lower middle order, the Bangladeshi batsmen came back relentlessly at the South Africans and the brisk scoring rate gave the innings a perfect ending just like it had started.
While the 70s from Shakib al Hasan (75) and Mushfiqur Rahim (78) built the skeleton, the breezy knocks from Soumya Sarkar (42 off 30), Mahmudullah (46 not out off 33) and Mosaddek Hossain (26 off 20) gave wings to the innings. Their experience in executing ODI innings was indeed a challenge for a relatively inexperienced South African bowling attack.
Bangladesh are re-confirming what we’ve known for a few years now. They are a team showing that they are a genuine force in the World game.— ian bishop (@irbishi) June 2, 2019
In the bowling too, Mustafizur Rahman, Mohammad Saifuddin, Shakib and Mehidy Hasan produced a brilliant team effort. Not to forget the clean work done by wicket-keeper Mushfiqur to get rid of the potentially dangerous Quinton de Kock.
"This is the team we are. We mostly win when everyone contributes. Once most of our players step up, there's a good possibility to win the matches. I think we have been lucky, and played so well." ESPNcricinfo quoted Mashrafe summing it up well.
This World Cup marks 20 years since Bangladesh's debut in the showpiece event and they are one of the most experienced sides in the fray now. A number of players in the current Bangladesh side are playing in their fourth World Cup, which says about the experience they bring with them. The team also has a core group featuring the likes of Mortaza, Shakib, Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah and it gives a lot of weightage to the side just like Sri Lanka had in the 1996 edition and India had in the 2003 edition. It always helps if a team has so many seniors guiding the youngsters in a key event like the World Cup.
This performance of Bangladesh, who recently won their first multi-lateral trophy in Ireland, will make other teams wary of them. The Tigers are certainly one of the two best teams in Asia, especially with the slide of teams like Pakistan and Sri Lanka. This team, if consistent, can be the dark horse of CWC 2019 and go on registering their best-ever show in the WC by making the semi-finals.