England v Bangladesh, World Cup, Group A, Adelaide March 9, 2015

Mahmudullah, Rubel knock England out


Bangladesh 275 for 7 (Mahmudullah 103, Mushfiqur 89) beat England 260 (Buttler 65, Bell 63, Rubel 4-53) by 15 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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Holding: England played as if they were under siege

England are out of the World Cup, their abject challenge foundering once again with Bangladesh their latest tormentors, inflicting their fourth defeat in five, by 15 runs. After a high-octane finale, Bangladesh can delight in qualifying for the final stages of a major tournament for the first time, a breakthrough after so many lean years that cannot be overestimated. England, after fulfilling what will now be a hollow final match against Afghanistan, will return home to recriminations.

The possibility of elimination clung to England's pursuit of 276 like stale cigarette smoke with only Jos Buttler, with 65 from 52 balls, summoning the wherewithal under the Adelaide floodlights to fling open the windows and lay down the saucers of vinegar to bring fresh air to a challenge, that without his intervention, would have died of suffocation much sooner.

All around him was staleness as England attempted to play within themselves in search of a challenging, but achievable target, one formulated by Mahmudullah's assured maiden ODI century; Bangladesh's first in the World Cup, a personal triumph on a day that roused a nation. It was Bangladesh who summoned both verve and discipline when it mattered.

Symptomatic perhaps of England's lowly status in one-day cricket, they fell not to the spin they might once have expected, but to the pace of Rubel Hossain, the fastest bowler on view, who finished with four wickets, two to dent England's good start and two in the penultimate over as the coup de grace.

There were also two wickets for Mashrafe Mortaza, a captain held together by bandages for as long as anybody can remember, and who at one point pulled up his trouser leg to reveal the sort of appendages more commonly associated with an orthopaedic ward.

World Cups are about pressure - you just have to cope, the coach Peter Moores had asserted before a match that England had to win to keep their hopes of qualification for the quarter-finals alive. They bowled respectably enough, but with the bat they flunked it, the architects of their own downfall as Ian Bell's half-century ran out of energy and bad shots jostled for attention with bad luck. Moores insisted he was desperate to retain his job as England coach.

Mahmudullah, for all his elegance, had laboured through 113 previous ODIs without a hundred to his name. But he responded confidently to the urging from Mashrafe to respond positively to one of the biggest matches in their history, feasting on any width on the off side. Along with Mushfiqur Rahim, a scampish accomplice, forever bathed in smiles, he added 141 in 24 overs for the fifth wicket as England lacked intent in the middle overs.

Bell initially calmed fluttering English hearts in reply with an understated half-century, but by the time he fell to Rubel, his authority had departed at precisely the time he needed to take control. Bangladesh successfully suffocated his shot square on the off side with two fielders and he fell in search of it.

There was also a capacity for self-harm. Moeen Ali's run out was doolally, pushing Arafat Sunny to mid-on and then wandering half-heartedly down the pitch as Bell showed no inclination for the run. James Taylor's leaping, nerve-ridden hack against Taskin Ahmed was equally culpable. Desperate moments from increasingly desperate men.

The calls for Hales' inclusion had finally been answered - the supporters' favourite, perceived as the man to add impetus to England's top order. Hales had been dealt a difficult hand - a first innings in what, for England, was essentially a sudden-death affair, and much of it against the slow bowling which has often unsettled him. He batted conservatively, almost Ballance-like, totting up 27 from 34 balls, before Mortaza defeated an indeterminate push.

Three balls after Bell's departure, Morgan fell into Rubel's trap, pulling to long leg. Australia has haunted him: four ducks in nine innings since he was awarded the England captaincy on the eve of the tournament, his method seemingly unpicked, his game unproductive whether he bats as if weighed down by responsibility or, as here, trusts to instinct.

England needed 95 from the last 10 overs with only four wickets left, but one of them was Buttler, closing on his fifty with steely-eyed aplomb. As if to announce his intent, he lofted his next ball, from the left-arm spinner Arafat Sunny, over extra cover for six.

But when he gave Mushfiqur his fourth catch, and Chris Jordan was run out next ball - his bat bouncing up as he dived for the crease, a devilishly difficult decision for the third umpire, Chris Fry, and one which left Moores incensed - England needed 38 from 24 and the game was as good as up. Stuart Broad's midwicket six against Taskin was England's last flicker. Twice, Rubel struck the stumps, leaving Chris Woakes stranded on 42 not out.

Morgan had inserted Bangladesh with grouchy overnight weather still lingering and Anderson finally bowled the fuller length England wanted. Within seven balls, he had Imrul Kayes and Tamim Iqbal back in the hutch, backed by slips - Jordan and Root holding on.

Twice, Mahmadullah shared in a new World Cup landmark for Bangladesh, also adding 86 in 18 overs for the third wicket with Soumya Sarkar. They gradually restored order before Jordan deceived Sarkar with a bouncer and had him caught off the glove, trying to evade. Shakib, flat-footed as Moeen found surprising turn, followed in the next over.

For such a dynamic cricketer, Jordan can look strikingly arrythmic at times and his prolonged inactivity showed. He performed better at the death, looking nearer to a death bowler than any England bowler in the tournament. Not that such considerations matter now.

Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur batted with great discernment, their stand finally broken by a run out, 26 balls from the end, when Woakes' direct hit from short third man beat Mahmudullah's weary sprint to the striker's end. Mushfiqur might have sneaked in for his own century had he not skied Broad's slower off-cutter to cover.

That Bangladesh responded with their best score against England in ODIs was predictable perhaps in a tournament characterised by good pitches, superhero bats and fielding restrictions, but it was a total that England had only successfully chased once before against a major nation in a World Cup.

England and Bangladesh had not met in any format since the last World Cup, a memorable Chittagong night for Bangladesh as a gleeful ninth-wicket stand between Mahmudullah - him again - and Shafiul Islam carried them home with an over to spare. And now, they had done it again.

"We thought 275 was chaseable - we'll have to look at the data," said Moores. England, staring into their iPads, had tried to measure the World Cup and come up short. Now they are only measuring words. As for Bangladesh, they can receive the joys of a nation that has long endured troubled times.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo @davidkhopps

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 14, 2015, 18:24 GMT

    best wishes for bangladesh...go ahead

  • Delwar on March 12, 2015, 5:13 GMT

    Best luck Bangladesh and go ahead for the future match bring another smashing win.

  • Devinderpal Singh on March 12, 2015, 3:38 GMT

    In general, I think the 'abilities' of Bell and Root are incredibly exaggerated, and they proved my point in this World Cup. They had their chances and failed, as I expected, yet the views on these forums said differently. Averages mean nothing when it is not in context. What is Chris Gayle's average in the World Cup, and more importantly, why is it that? Do you think Mitchell Johnson had a good IPL season for the Kings XI Punjab last year? I think you need to look deeper than the final numbers that are tallied up. The stats, in this case, mislead, and watching the performances indicates a lot more. P2.

  • Devinderpal Singh on March 11, 2015, 18:50 GMT

    @jg2704: I knew that when someone would defend Bell, they would look to his average as an indicator of performance. Let me remind you of Bell's contributions. He struggled his way to a fifty against Scotland, relying on Ali to do the job of two men, much like Cook was doing, and he fails in England's most crucial match, which I picked out weeks and months ago.

    Root does not contribute when it matters. His ton versus India was in the last match of four, when India breezed to a 3:0 lead, and took their foot off of the accelerator when they proved their point. Root, opportunistically, took advantage of that, when making no meaningful contribution earlier on in the series...you know...when it actually matters. The same happened in the seven-match series against Sri Lanka. Double digit scores, but did they matter? No. Some players play for their average. Bell is one, and so is Root, so when one looks back, the average of 40+ looks great...without applying context, of course. P1.

  • Rony on March 11, 2015, 10:35 GMT

    Another area in which England did great blunder is their batting position.Actually i was worrying for England's sake when Moeen Ali scored that century vs the Sotland match.He is a great player to the side,no doubt about that,but definitely not an opening material against top sides.His ideal position will be after Jos Butler,where Eng required some good stroke makers in the final overs.In this way they can put root at 3,Taylor at 4,(if they are not selecting Bopara)Morgan at 5,followed by Jos Butler,Moeen Ali and the bowlers.Always thought that Morgan was an impressive Player.Never Imagined he will fail like this.I think the team selection and batting positions are forced upon Morgan by the management and coach,they dominated him,also based on his initial failures.That might put more pressure on him and he totally lost from there.But If he is involved in these poor desicions,then he is really a terrible captain,either way he is not strong enough as a Captain.

  • Rony on March 11, 2015, 10:34 GMT

    They should have selected Hales and Bopara at any cost.If players like these two score only they will get those huge scores that is required in flat tracks.They have to beleive that these people will get runs.That is the only chance of them winning in the "drop in" batting paradises of Aus where thay played most matches.Hales looked like in huge pressure when he played against bangladesh.The Main reason Eng don't have attacking batsmen is because of their selection panel's attitude.I don't know that much about all English players,but i knew a few players like Kieswetter and Bairstow.Eng did'nt give them enough chances to develop in to better batsmen,instead they given more chances to defensive players.

  • Rony on March 11, 2015, 10:32 GMT

    Really Pathetic Show by England.They are absolutely miserable in total Game Plan.First of all thier team selection is the most absurd of all teams.Even a fool can understand that no team in current ODI setup can't survive with Bell,Root and Taylor together.Individually they are not bad players,but if plays together that will affect team's balance.When they all play,No way a team can score those huge runs required in flat tracks of Aus.Besides they brought in Ballance also.I accept root is the player clicked in some matches,but he is a very limited batsmen in terms of attacking abilities.Also he failed so many times against Aus.Since only he got some runs i am not going to blame him for this collective Eng failure.But on what basis Eng drop Hales and Bopara.They may be lacking consistancy,but if other consistant players can't score enough runs then what is the use?

  • Shipu on March 11, 2015, 10:23 GMT

    I remember till BD first match that critics - fans and experts were saying BD will lose to Afghanistan or struggle to win against them and that BD has no chance against any of the big sides. Oh! how the tables have turned. BD already exceeded expectations at this world cup by reaching 1/8 and have nothing to lose now. Also don't forget that nearly all teams have been playing ODI series about a month before the world cup but BD didn't yet qualified with a game to spare. This BD team is the youngest of all teams too.

  • John on March 11, 2015, 8:23 GMT

    @LANDL - You were defending the selection of Broad back along- saying he was still getting fit. Just wondering if you think that's still the case? Still he managed to inflate his ratio of wickets to games from 7 in 10 games previously to 8 in 11 now. They even gave him the new ball and he still failed to deliver

    Jimmy went off the boil after the Tri series but that was not as predictable. Surely you must agree that it's ludicrous to continue with these 2 when they are so off the boil at the expense of the test series in WI - which is rumoured to be the case

  • John on March 11, 2015, 8:22 GMT

    @DSA - I will actually disagree with you (If this gets published this time) re Root and Bell. Doing rough maths in my head Root averaged around 42 in his last 9 inns and has scored 2 x 50 and a ton and all against proper test nations. In the full tourn Bell (ave 42 I think) had 5 inns , passed 50 twice , had an inns of 8 and besides that inns his lowest score was 36. He is certainly nowhere near as good as JTP makes out , but nowhere near as bad as you and others do. I'd like to have seen him play with more fluency at times. Anderson was good in the Tri series but poor in the WC and Broad was just poor

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