About two decades ago, Sri Lankan cricket came off age when their national team won the World Cup, cricket’s most prestigious trophy, becoming the third subcontinental nation to win the tournament. Last night, In champions trophy 2017 cricket fans of old must have had the deja vu when they saw Bangladesh, minnows and also-rans for as long as one can remember, stunned New Zealand in their third match and now stand a chance to qualify for the semi-finals, provided England thrash Australia tomorrow.
Chasing a rather modest target of 266, considering the flurry of 300 plus scores in this tournament, Bangladesh were quickly reduced to 33 for 4, a familiar narrative, but it was not to be as Shakib al Hasan and Mahmudullah combined to put on the highest partnership for any wicket for Bangladesh, adding 224 at almost run a ball, to take Bangladesh home and within hitting distance of the semi-final spot.
In a must win match for both teams, Bangladesh looked on their way out when Tim Southee and Boult combined to give them the perfect start. Boult produced some splendid late-swinging deliveries, and Southee removed Tamim Iqbal, Sabbir Rehman and Soumya Sarkar in his first three overs, with the opener Iqbal gone in the very first over when he was adjudged lbw to an in-swinger.
It seemed a lost cause after the collapse of the top and middle order, but in Shakib and Mahmudullah, Bangladesh found the heroes they had hoped for. They began with a counterattacking four each in the 13th over and some audacious hitting by Mahmudullah put the pressure back on the Kiwis, hitting Neesham over midwicket for a huge six and following up with a pull next ball. Not long after, he creamed Corey Anderson.
The century partnership was brought up in the 31st over, and after a brief period of calm when the Bangladesh needed 70 runs off the last 10 overs, the pair unleashed a vicious attack, cutting and pulling the ball everywhere to bring the asking rate down. A single off the 45th over brought up another milestone – the first ever 200-run stand for any wicket for Bangladesh. The winning runs were scored by Mosaddak Hussain, who helped restrict the Black Caps in the death overs.
Earlier in the game, it was Bangladesh’s disciplined bowling in the death overs that helped restrict New Zealand to a reachable target. The openers Ronchi and Guptill got them off to a quick start before Taylor and Williamson took over, with Williamson scoring another half century – his third in three matches. New Zealand’s efficient batting took them to 230 in 40 overs, and they looked to score above 300, as part-time spinner Mosaddek Hussain put the brakes on, claiming three wickets and returning with the best figures for the subcontinental side. Rubel Hossain and Taskin Ahmed also bowled well in the death overs, and New Zealand could only manage 265 in the 50 overs, losing 8 wickets, 5 in the last 12 overs.
Bangladesh will be praying hard for an England win, or a wash out when they play Australia. If they do, it will be another milestone for Bangladesh cricket.
Champions Trophy 2017 Bangladesh vs New Zealand Full Score
New Zealand 265/8 (50)
Bangladesh 268/5 (47.2)
Champions Trophy 2017 Bangladesh vs New Zealand Final Result
Bangladesh defeated New Zealand by 5 wickets in a stunning upset, as Mahmudullah-Hasan scored centuries for a 200 run stand.