ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

Bang v Netherlands, World Cup 2011, Chittagong

Shakib hails Shafiul as key

Sidharth Monga in Chittagong

March 14, 2011

Comments: 18 | Text size: A | A

The most pleasing aspect of Monday's win for Bangladesh will be that they did what was expected of them. That can't be said of the first four games, but on Monday they came out against a lower-ranked team and professionally and solidly fashioned a facile win that keeps them alive in the tournament. Bangladesh might have lost to Netherlands in their only international before this, but at home, on a slow and low pitch, they were strong favourites, and demonstrated just why. However, even on this track, the best fast bowler on display was wearing green and red, and that was impressive too.

Two men, though, stood out more than the others in what was a good team effort. Again it will please Bangladesh that they are the two same men that were a notch above the others in their win against England. Imrul Kayes again came up with a level-headed fifty to anchor the chase, and Shafiul Islam, on a slow pitch, produced a performance that yielded no wickets, but might have got him a four-for some other day.

Despite the lack of wickets, Shafiul's contribution was not lost on either of the captains. What made his first spell of 6-3-7-0, more than the number of edges he missed out on, was that the batsmen were targeting him while the ball was hard and coming on. Yet they probably felt lucky they didn't lose any wickets to him.

"In his first spell, he got nice away swing," Peter Borren, Netherlands' captain, said of him. "He didn't bowl a bad ball pretty much the whole day. He was pretty consistent. We were looking to kind of attack the seamers at the start because we thought that might be our opportunity to score a little bit, in the Powerplay against the hard ball with some pace on the ball, but to be honest he didn't allow us to do that. He bowled really nicely today, and credit to him for giving nothing away. He didn't go for many runs, and he probably deserved more wickets than he got."

Imrul Kayes reaches 50, Bangladesh v Netherlands, Group B, World Cup 2011, Chittagong, March 14, 2011
Imrul Kayes got his second consecutive Man-of-the-Match award © Getty Images

Shakib Al Hasan was full of praise too. "The first two matches we won were both due to massive contributions from Shafiul," he said. "He delivered at crucial moments. Today also he did very well with the new ball, and even later in the innings. I think he has learnt a lot from the India match, which he is being able to apply now. And that is giving him the confidence that he can be a world-class bowler."

Shafiul's good work was followed up on by the trio of left-arm spinners, and then after Tamim Iqbal's dismissal in the first over, Kayes played the kind of innings that soothes nerves in the dressing room. No loose shots, no hurry to get to the target. When he won the Man-of-the-Match award for a pretty similar effort against England, he pointed out that it was his first match award. Three days later he has now emulated Manjural Islam Rana as the only Bangladesh player with consecutive match awards in ODIs.

Last time, Kayes also pointed out that Shafiul actually deserved the award, but today he was there at the end, unbeaten, and there was no doubt as to who the Man of the Match should be. "The last match Man-of-the-Match award was given to me but I did not deserve it. It was Shafiul who should have got it," he said. "But this match I played well and was unbeaten. I had not won a Man-of-the-Match award before these two, so getting this today makes me very happy.

"I think the wicket was not good to bat on. When Tamim got out I was constantly talking to Junaid [Siddique]. The main thing was when Junaid hit a good ball, I thought if I stayed at the wicket I would be successful."

Shakib said of Kayes' innings: "Last match he batted really well, but in this match he had to struggle a bit because of the wicket, which was not allowing us to play shots. He stuck around and did the right thing."

This was the best Bangladesh could have done in terms of the result from this game, for the net run-rate situation is beyond their control. They are so far behind West Indies and Ireland, the teams they can end up tied with, that it is near impossible to beat their run-rates. A lot now depends on the result of the match between England and West Indies, but Shakib continues to remain positive. "It is in our hands too," he said. "If we win the next match [against South Africa] we will get to the quarter-finals. It is as simple as that."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 18 
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Posted by Dummy4 on (March 16, 2011, 1:42 GMT)

@Jodo, yes Bangladesh is as lucky and more talented than India. If India by pure luck make the quarters it will be a travesty. Because they were not even talented enough to even beat England! Bangladesh beat England! India is as talented as Afghanistan, Canada,Namibia and Scotland! They should let a better team like Bangladesh play in the quarters instead!

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 15, 2011, 12:33 GMT)

totally agree with Faisal Taheer :) @ jodo - Are you still living in 90's !!!! now, bangladesh is a well balanced team . we have worlds # 1 all rounder (shakib) in our team , top class bowler like razzak . top class opener like tamim iqbal .. then how can u say .. bd is equal to canada :/ i m really shocked at this comment b4 bd and england match the british were charged up after beating S.A so..it was a big challenge for bangladesh .. nd bangladesh did well . they have beaten full strength england team .. not only in home, they have beaten england in england last year. so, think 100 times before passing any comment ok .. just wait... soon bd will b world champion :) mark it ..

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 15, 2011, 9:19 GMT)

If bowling England for 225 is pure luck and also winning the match under tremendous pressure is luck then i have nothing to say, also making New Zealand whitewash in the last series is also luck ? I dont want to say further about the last worlcup beating India and South Africa. All I want to say Tigers are fighters they know how to fight and they as the youngest team in the ICC 2011 is giving there best. I am proud of you Tigers.

Posted by Ebenezer on (March 15, 2011, 7:37 GMT)

I dont think BD deserve place in QF coz of some win by pure luck. They are equal to Canada, Kenya and Netherland in talent.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 15, 2011, 7:05 GMT)

I am surprise, why Shafiul was not elected as MOM for previous two win

Posted by Ishtiak on (March 15, 2011, 4:42 GMT)

As much as I know that it will be near impossible to defeat SA on 19th of March, I love the attitude of our captain. "If we win the next match we will get to the quarter-finals. It is as simple as that." If WI defeats England then there really won't be anything to worry about for Bangladesh, considering that SA will overcome Ireland in their encounter today. But if WI fails to defeat England, then Bangladesh should go all guns blazing against SA, cause it won't matter if we lose by 400 runs or 4 runs, we will be eliminated. UP Bangladesh, UP shakib and co...you have made us proud enough :D

Posted by Calvin on (March 15, 2011, 3:47 GMT)

Its gonna be tough against SA. England will somehow sneak into the quarter finals.

Posted by Shabbir on (March 15, 2011, 1:48 GMT)

Shafiul hows turned out be a very dependable player not only with bowling but also with his batting. However he is not the only one beginning to emerge, Imrul Kayes has been consistent in two games getting over 60 in both. These types of games are good for character building and wexperience for the future. Even now BD have a great chance to qualify to the QFs.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 15, 2011, 1:12 GMT)

It's great that Shakib is so positive- a character trait no Bangladeshi captain before him really had! However, in this World Cup thus far Shakib and to a lesser extent Tamim have not really performed to their potential! To beat the Saffers on Friday, both Shakib and Tamim need to finally arrive at the World Cup and play blinders! Also Shakib needs to get over whatever personal bias he has and use Mahmudullah Riyad more in matches- so far Riyad has had a better World Cup than Shakib, so Shakib should learn to check his ego at the door for the best interest of his nation!!! Go Bangladesh!!!!

Posted by Andrew on (March 14, 2011, 23:16 GMT)

The match v England, the Bangas had their best combination on the park - until yesterday that is. This is the side that can win during the finals. The only change I'd make is putting Nafees in with Tamim & slotting Kayes & Siddique at 3 & 4. Hard to do that when Kayes played perfectly as an opener.

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