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July 10, 2010
For Cardiff, Trinidad and Johannesburg you can now add Bristol to the list of venues that will forever hold a special place in Bangladesh hearts. Nobody would have given them a prayer of beating England, but somehow the visitors dug deeper than many thought possible and finally nailed the final big-name scalp that has eluded their grasp.
Whatever Mashrafe Mortaza said to his players after their defeat at Trent Bridge he should write that speech down and save it for the rest of his career. With each loss that has been notched up this year - and the count had reached 24 by today - the players would wear a resigned look as though it was all that was expected, but this time something changed and they found belief.
When England slipped to 90 for 4 there was still the feeling that they would reach the target, as there was when Jonathan Trott and Stuart Broad added 43 for the eighth wicket. Even as Ian Bell hobbled out at No. 11 with a broken foot it was the sort of scene where Bangladesh could have been denied at the last. They were so desperate for the victory that players pulled out the stumps when James Anderson was dismissed only to see it wasn't over.
"They pulled the stumps and suddenly Bell came out but at the end of the day I'm very happy," Mortaza said. "We are feeling very good. It's been 250 days since we won so people will be very happy about this win and the dressing room is very happy."
Andrew Strauss and Craig Kieswetter had given England a positive start, but Mortaza felt his team had a chance once they'd made inroads into the middle order. "I told every bowler to give 100% and it was important that we take wickets in the Powerplay and also in the middle overs," he said.
"I think the Collingwood wicket was the turning point and also when Eoin Morgan got out as he's in very good form. But it was only when the last man got out that I was sure we would win."
Jamie Siddons, the coach, has often been a frustrated onlooker as his players repeated the same mistakes and he had his head in his hands on a few occasions as the team batted. He has often bemoaned their lack of awareness in key situations and has often been especially scathing about the bowling. Now they have won them a match he hoped the belief would grow.
"It's hard to keep getting beaten and keep getting them up," Siddons said. "Now I think they realise they can beat anyone. It's unbelievable. I would have thought England were on top of the world and capable of beating everyone. So to beat them at home.. it's a brilliant win."
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