Bangladesh v England, 2nd ODI, Dhaka November 10, 2003

A touch of the Forrest Gumps



A different day but the same old story: James Anderson celebrates as early wickets tumble
© Getty Images


Another day, another defeat for Bangladesh, whose performances have completely run out of steam after the comparative heroics of the Test series. Bangladesh approached this match with the joie de vivre of a penal battalion, in front of a capacity crowd whose exultant response to every single was matched only by their penchant for pyromania. On the pitch at least, it was international cricket at its most numbing - for the second match running.

In fact, it is not just for the second match running. It is for the 46th match running, and like Forrest Gump, the run just goes on and on. Ever since that victory over Pakistan in the 1999 World Cup, Bangladesh have not even threatened a repeat in any one-day international. It is a staggering statistic for a form of the game that is supposed to involve an element of chance. Forget all the talk of removing Bangladesh's Test status. It is their one-day credentials that ought to be rescinded - preferably before Wednesday's mismatch.

For the second match running, Bangladesh attempted to accelerate their scoring rate, and ended up in a pathetic heap. For the second match running, they picked themselves up, dusted themselves down, and limped along at two an over to salvage some semblance of pride. A 271-ball century, which is what the team managed today, is akin to Nasser Hussain at his most attritional. In the context of a five-day game, it might conceivably have made a difference. Today it was merely a stay of execution, and an irritating one at that.

Not many sides in Bangladesh's position would be able to rest their star player with a series at stake. But that is precisely what Dav Whatmore did today, as Habibul Bashar was sent to the sidelines to reflect on his wasteful dismissal at Chittagong. It is evidence that Whatmore had written this match off before it had even begun. If it wasn't for the crowd's sheer love of the game, it would be tempting to do likewise with their one-day status.

Andrew Miller is assistant editor of Wisden Cricinfo. He will be accompanying England throughout their travels in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.