Published: February 25, 2011
A superb and resolute bowling attack earned Bangladesh the first win the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 as the Tigers narrowly defended a paltry 205 against Ireland at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Friday.
The fall of Boyd Rankin turned the crowd wild as the whole country prepare for party, recovering from the defeat in the WC opener against India.
Ireland, who defeated Bangladesh in both the last two WC encounters, suffered a 27-run defeat also in their second match during this year’s tournament.
Halfway through the crucial match, the Tigers were in big trouble after a poor batting performance. But in the field, the spinners began the job, removing first five wickets before passing the baton to the pacer, Shafiul Islam.
The young WC debutant, who had to undergo a lot of pressure for failing to do the job in their first match on February 19, registered his best bowling success, bagging four wickets for 21 runs in eight overs.
“Though he (Shafiul) was expensive at the beginning, but we know he will come back,” Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan said during the presentation ceremony.
It was the last ball of 45th over. Rankin chipped to short midwicket to see Junaid Siddique taking the catch with ease. And he went back to the pavilion for three runs of 13 balls.
Shakib and Ashraful took two wickets each while Razzak and Naeem shared two wickets.
Earlier, Naeem Islam removed John Mooney, in the 40th over alluring the home side to dream for a victory.
The careless attempt of Mooney to sweep it and only managing to get a bottom edge into the stumps for a duck.
Earlier in-form batsman Kevin O’Brien, dragged down by Shafiul, pulled it straight down the throat of deep square-leg to invite substitute Suhrawadi Shuvo take the catch.
Shuvo did not falter, and the crowd burst in joy while O’Brien walked back to the pavilion scoring 37 off 40 balls.
Shafiul’s success came quite a long gap after skipper Shakib Al Hasan removed Irish wicketkeeper-cum-batsman Niall O’Brien in the fourth ball of the 28th over.
O’Brien tried to chip a single to square leg and Shakib’s deputy Tamim Iqbal, running in from the boundary, dived forward full length to scoop the ball inches off the turf, sending the crowd wild. O’Brien scored 38 off 52 balls, including three boundaries.
The spinners — Mohammad Ashraful, Abdur Razzak and Shakib — shared the previous five wickets.
Ashraful took the wickets of Andrew White and Ed Joyce.
Playing back to the fourth ball of the 25th over, White hung his bat out in defence and it spun back past the inside edge onto off stump after scoring 10 runs off 27 balls. Earlier in the 19th over, Joyce turned the bat against the spin, took a leading edge and popped back to the bowler.
After the breakthrough Razzak gave removing opener Paul Stirling in the sixth over, skipper Shakib Al Hasan did not make mistake to read the character of the wicket and took the ball himself to bowl the 10th over. Success came in the very first ball.
Coming round the wicket, Porterfield went back and flicked the ball straight to Raqibul at midwicket. He went back to the pavilion scoring 20 runs off 30 balls, including two boundaries.
Seeing Shafiul Islam conceding six runs, Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan replaced him in the third over by right-arm offbreak bowler Naeem Islam. And he proved his worth by giving only two runs. Abdur Razzak continued from the second over.
The first success came in sixth over. Razzak’s third ball in the over to Paul Stirling was a very full delivery, like a york. As the Irish opener jabbed down on it and stumbled out of the crease, the ball dribbled back towards wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim who proved fast to break the stumps. The batsman called for a review but replay showed he was quite off from his mark.
Stirling scored nine runs, including a boundary.
Earlier, a nightmarish batting debacle enforced by a resolute Ireland in the field sent awe to the home side bundling it for just 205 runs after the Tigers chose to bat first winning the toss.
Hit hard in its power-centre, the Tigers narrowly managed to play till the 50th over but still had four balls to spare.
The 10th wicket, Naeem Islam, tried something inventive getting down on one knee to play a scoop, seemingly encouraged by his skipper Shakib Al Hasan, off the second delivery from Johnston over short fine leg. And that was all. He got too much bat on it and it looped straight to Dockrell. Naeem went for 29 off 38 balls, an inning having three boundaries.
A large crowd in red and green who occupied large part of ‘Home of Cricket’ and thousands others glued in front of TV screens held their breaths in wait hoping the Tigers recover the loss and put a fighting score to register the first win in the 2011 tournament of cricket’s biggest show.
But all the top order batsmen frustrated them. No-one could hit even a half century.
Tigers skipper Shakib Al Hasan who had paired with a resolute wicket-keeper-cum-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim was looking cool on the crease at the beginning. But he ultimately proved suffering inside the early wicket fall and lofted a catch to his offside on the fifth ball of 15th over just to be dropped by Porterfield at point.
However, Ireland hit again: Andre Botha’s second delivery in the 16th over was a puzzle for Shakib prompting the promising skipper give an easy catch back to the bowler. Silence descended on the homeside.
Sitting anywhere in the world a spectator can feel the heat generated by the must-win game for both the sides.
Winning the toss, Shakib opted to bat first. Many might assume the skipper might then have in his mind the popular view that Bangladesh should bat first in case of win in the toss. Bangladesh’s decision in the World Cup opener against India to field earned the team a huge flak from many quarters no matter whether they had all the considerations including the wicket’s situation, dew factor, bowling and batting strength etc in their minds. The 87-run defeat on February 19 forced the skipper to face a lobby of questions over the following few days on the unexpected topic, though he defended all through.
A typical devastating Tamim Iqbal introduced his signature shots as he opened Bangladesh innings hitting double boundaries earning 10 runs in the first over. Tigers’ journey later shot people’s expectations to a new height as Tamim kept swinging his bat to all the directions.
In the seventh over came the blow: Imrul went back to the pavilion. It was John Mooney’s third ball pitching on the leg and seeming to be a wide ball when Imrul made the fatal mistake of connecting it to flick. In a stunning work, wicketkeeper Niall John O’Brien picked it up awe-striking the crowd. Playing 12 balls, Imrul scored 12 with two boundaries.
The shock gave Tamim little time to recover. Within just two overs the one-down, Junaid Siddique, lost his berth on the crease. Most of those in the field had hardly noticed or cared for hurrying to send back the ball to the wicketkeeper in a chance to send Junaid off. But his lazy running cost him his wicket: Ed Joyce’s throw hit direct and Junaid was a fraction short of his safe mark. He could score just three playing eight balls before returning.
Already forced to slow down the run taking, Tamim was dumbfounded by his own execution of Botha in the first ball of the 12th over. He sliced the ball only to send it straight to William Porterfield standing in the square-off. A massive wicket for Ireland and, most probably, the biggest threat too, was wiped off much to the dismay to the spectators. The 43-ball-inning earned Tamim 44 runs, including seven boundaries.
The nightmarish disorder on the host batting line-up, which was already suffering from an acute pressure of expectation in the must-win game, had called for a resolute stance and partnership and that is what Bangladesh Shakib Al Hasan and his former deputy and, also the wicketkeeper, Mushfiqur Rahim was looking forward to.
Many Bangladeshis and supporters of the Tigers were, no doubt, praying then for it. But Shakib seems to have failed to take the pressure. Before leaving the crease for the pavilion, he scored 16 off 20 balls.
With Raqibul Hasan as the new partner, Mushfiqur did not seem hasty at all. And this, no matter to how little extent, caused the Irish to frown. So there were attempts, deliberate ones, to break the partnership. The success came in the third ball of the 34th over. Dockrell stroke to earn Irish the breakthrough. White did the rest, taking s sharp catch sending Mushfiqur off to pavilion for 36.
The torturous innings of the seventh wicket, Shafiul Islam, ended as he pops forward and plays around a straight ball from Botha. He called for a review but it only confirmed the worst, heading half-way up leg stump. He scored only two off 17 balls.
Bangladesh team: Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Junaid Siddique, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Raqibul Hasan, Mohammad Ashraful, Naeem Islam, Abdur Razzak, Shafiul Islam and Rubel Hossain.
Ireland team: WTS Porterfield, PR Stirling, EC Joyce, NJ O’Brien, AR White, KJ O’Brien, AC Botha, JF Mooney, DT Johnston, GH Dockrell and WB Rankin.