• Wednesday, Nov 30, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Tigers’ bright start promises greater outcome

  • Published at 05:08 pm June 3rd, 2019
Shakib al Hasan plays a shot in their World Cup match against South Africa on Sunday at Oval. MD Manik from London

Playing their sixth World Cup, Bangladesh can seek refuge in the comfort of an interesting statistics – every time the Tigers won their opening fixture of the mega event, they eventually made it to the next round of the tournament.

As the dust settles from Bangladesh’s brilliant performance against South Africa where they registered a win by 21 runs in their first match of World Cup 2019, the cricketing world is still buzzing with appreciation for the South Asian nation’s exploits.

Make no mistake; the result was far from being an upset. The Tigers made sure the world takes notice as they outshined the Proteas across all three departments.

The otherwise highly-rated South African pace attack looked toothless, as they failed to come up with a credible Plan B after their initial game-plan of barraging Bangladesh batsmen with speedy bouncers flat-lined with impressive showings by the Tigers’ frontline batters.

However, it is too early to start celebrating as it is nothing but a good start to the long and rigorous tournament format, and Bangladesh can only take inspiration and move forward with confidence.

Playing their sixth World Cup, Bangladesh can seek refuge in the comfort of an interesting statistics – every time the Tigers won their opening fixture of the mega event, they eventually made it to the next round of the tournament.

In the 2007 edition of the World Cup, Bangladesh stunned the world after they beat tournament favourites India comprehensively by five wickets in their opening match. India were all out for only 191 runs after superb bowling displays by Mashrafe bin Mortaza, Mohammad Rafique and Abdur Razzak before three youngsters, Shakib al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Tamim Iqbal, playing their debut World Cup, struck brilliant fifties to chase down the target with nine balls remaining. India eventually crashed out of the tournament from the group stages and returned home with plenty of questions to be answered.

Later on in the tournament in the Caribbean Islands Bangladesh advanced to the Super Eight stage for the first time in their short history where they caused another upset by beating South Africa by 67 runs.

Eight years down the line, Bangladesh began their World Cup 2015 in Australasia after beating tournament debutants Afghanistan by 105 runs, courtesy of brilliant showings by the usual suspects – Shakib and Mushfiq’s half-centuries and a good spell by skipper Mashrafe. For the second time in their history, the Tigers progressed to the next round after winning a nail-biting game against England as the Three Lions crashed out courtesy of Mahmudullah’s century and a great bowling spell in the end by Rubel Hossain.  

While all five senior-most Tigers contributed heavily to take the team to newer heights, current vice captain Shakib has an intriguing record of scoring half-centuries in all four opening matches of the World Cups he has participated in. The onslaught began against India where Shakib scored 53 and 55 in 2007 and 2011, respectively. In 2015, the ace all-rounder registered 63 against Afghanistan and now, the starlet has kept his record intact by scoring a comfortable 75 against South Africa on Sunday.

If the stats were of any indication of Bangladesh’s performance in this year’s World Cup, their advancement to the next stage, the semi-finals seem to be on the cards.

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