ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

Bangladesh v England, World Cup 2011, Group B, Chittagong

Shafiul stars as Bangladesh seal thriller

The Report by Andrew Miller

March 11, 2011

Comments: 272 | Text size: A | A

Bangladesh 227 for 8 (Kayes 60, Shahzad 3-63) beat England 225 (Trott 67, Morgan 63) by two wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Mahmudullah hit the winning runs for Bangladesh in an epic victory, Bangladesh v England, Group B, World Cup, Chittagong, March 11, 2011
Mahmudullah kept his cool alongside Shafiul Islam to take Bangladesh home © PA Photos

Shafiul Islam raised Bangladesh's World Cup campaign from the dead, as he turned yet another astonishing contest on its head with a breathtaking assault in the batting Powerplay to leave England stunned by their fifth cliffhanger in consecutive contests, and facing their own make-or-break encounter with West Indies in Chennai next week.

In another unbearably tense finale, Bangladesh's ninth-wicket pair of Shafiul and Mahmudullah transformed a futile situation with a glorious blaze of strokeplay, as they turned an asking rate of 57 in 62 balls into an emotional victory with an over to spare. The honour of the winning hit went to Mahmudullah, who belted a Tim Bresnan full-toss through the covers for four to cue pandemonium among the most passionate cricket supporters in the world, but it was Shafiul's refusal to accept defeat that ultimately paved the way for glory.

On a sluggish track in which runs had, for the most part, to be grafted, England batted first and were bowled out for 225 - a total that was no better than par, and which owed everything to a chalk-and-cheese stand of 109 between Jonathan Trott and the fit-again Eoin Morgan. In reply, however, and in dew-laden conditions that made the ball tricky to grip - particularly for their cantankerous spinner, Graeme Swann - Bangladesh were on cruise control at 155 for 3 in the 31st over, before a calamitous run-out gifted their opponents a way back into the game.

The man who had the game in the palm of his hand was the eventual - and rightful - Man of the Match Imrul Kayes, the less-vaunted of Bangladesh's opening batsman, who slipstreamed Tamim Iqbal during a captivating 38 from 26 balls that put Bangladesh firmly ahead of the run-rate, before settling down to play the holding role with a chanceless 100-ball 60.

Chanceless, that is, except for his sketchy running between the wickets. For it was his ill-advised decision to take a second run to deep square leg that ended a fourth-wicket stand of 72 with Shakib Al Hasan that looked to have broken the back of England's resistance. In the next five overs, as Bresnan and Paul Collingwood applied the emergency brake, Bangladesh were limited to seven singles before Shakib - gasping to lift the tempo after a doughty 58-ball innings - aimed a loose sweep at Swann and was bowled for 32.

Mushfiqur Rahim had been virtually strokeless since the run-out, with two runs from 18 deliveries before the re-introduction of Ajmal Shahzad persuaded him to drive expansively through the covers. But one ball later he edged a beauty on off stump through to Matt Prior, and before another run had been added, Shahzad produced another superb delivery to take out Naeem Islam's off stump for a duck.

It was a near-replica of the delivery that had earlier sent Raqibul Hasan on his way in the same manner, and with eventual figures of 3 for 43, Shahzad was England's most successful bowler of the day. In between whiles, however, his line had been all over the shop - a performance that too many of his team-mates had been willing to emulate, not least James Anderson, who had borne the brunt of Tamim's early onslaught, and later served up a dreadful nine-ball first over of the batting Powerplay - including five wides first-ball - to give Bangladesh real belief in the closing stages.

That belief had been ignited by the swinging blade of Shafiul, who turned a bad day for Swann into a dreadful one by leathering his final over for 16, including the only six of the day, over wide long-on. Up until that point, Swann had been more preoccupied with the wet and slippery ball, with Andrew Strauss forced to intervene during a heated row with umpire Daryl Harper, but those blows brought the requirement down to 39 from 48 balls, and brought an abrupt halt to the flow of disgruntled fans who were trooping out of the stadium.

This was the day that Bangladesh had been rehearsing for all through 2010. They got to know England's cricketers and strategies through the course of back-to-back series at home and away, and having ended their run of 20 consecutive defeats with a tight victory at Bristol in their last-but-one encounter in July, they knew they had what it takes to spring a surprise. But, having collapsed in a heap to be bowled out for 58 in their last World Cup fixture against West Indies, the chance to start from the position of rank outsiders seemed to suit their purposes every bit as much as the favourites' tag unsettled their opponents.

Smart Stats

  • Bangladesh's two-wicket win is only their second against England in 15 ODIs. It is also their fourth win over a Test-playing team in World Cups.
  • The target of 226 chased by Bangladesh is the highest successfully chased one in ODIs in Chittagong. The previous best was 222 for 9 by Bangladesh against Zimbabwe in 2009.
  • The 58-run stand between Mahmudullah and Shafiul Islam for the ninth wicket is the third highest for Bangladesh in ODIs.
  • Eoin Morgan scored his first fifty in World Cups. He now has 154 runs from ten innings at an average of 15.40. In ODIs overall, he averages nearly 39 with four hundreds and 11 fifties.
  • Ajmal Shahzad's haul of 3 for 43 is his third-best in ODIs and his best performance in World Cups.
  • The two-wicket win is the fourth in World Cups and the third such win to come against England.

With the honourable exception of the fit-again Morgan and the unflappable Trott, England simply did not look comfortable at any stage of the day. After losing the toss and being asked to set the agenda, they shipped three tame wickets in the space of their first 17 overs, as they dribbled along to 53 for 3, and though Trott was admirable in grinding out a 99-ball 67, it was Morgan's departure for 63 to a fine catch by Kayes at backward square that derailed their ambitions of a 250-plus total. Their batting Powerplay once again proved problematic, with 33 runs and two wickets coming in five overs, and from 162 for 3 with 11.3 overs remaining, England were bowled out for 225 with two balls of their innings remaining.

The left-arm spin of Abdur Razzak was especially impressive. It was he who stunted England's ambitions with his first-ball removal of Matt Prior (who produced one of the doziest dismissals of the tournament to date, when he set off for a single with the ball already nestled in Mushfiqur's gloves) and he did not concede a single boundary until Ravi Bopara larruped the third ball of his final over through the covers. Even then, Razzak had the last laugh, as two balls later Bopara tried the same trick and picked out Naeem Islam in the covers.

It was Razzak's earlier spell that set the tone, however, as he and Naeem squeezed all ambition out of England's top-order in a boa-like alliance that resulted in 19 singles and nothing else between overs 7 and 16. Strauss reclaimed his status as the tournament's leading run-scorer in the course of his 31-ball 18, but the fluency that had been the hallmark of his previous performances was nowhere to be seen as he eventually took on a cut shot that was too close to his body, and skidded a fast edge to Junaid Siddique at slip. And then Ian Bell, nominally England's best player of spin, produced a timid aberration of an innings, which ended with a flaccid flick to short midwicket off Mahmudullah.

England's own trump spinner couldn't come close to matching the efforts of Bangladesh's quartet. Right from his first over, Swann was troubled by the dew-sodden ball and struggled to locate the flight, line and length that had proved so devastating in a similar situation against South Africa last week. England regained a small measure of control when the umpires agreed to a ball-change after 21 overs, and Swann was instantly in the thick of things with a tidy fourth over that went for two runs. However, the more notable aspect of the over was Swann's petulance when called for a leg-side wide that might have brushed Shakib's pad. Aside from the extra run, it was a sign that England were getting very seriously rattled.

In the final analysis, however, there could be no quibbling with the result. The only reason that England were even given a chance of victory was that both sides knew of Bangladesh's tendency to collapse under pressure. Sure enough, the choke when it came was dramatic and could have been game-changing, but thanks to the guts of Shafiul and Mahmudullah, justice was served in the end.

Last week Bangladesh were being showered with brickbats - literally - after a spineless surrender in Dhaka. This evening those same players will be garlanded by a jubilant nation, and with a match against Netherlands still lying in wait, they now have a real chance to propel themselves to the quarter-finals. England, meanwhile, must ride the rollercoaster for the sixth match in succession. Another slip-up, and this time it really will be the end.

Match Timeline

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 272 
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Posted by Dummy4 on (March 14, 2011, 14:33 GMT)

Bravo Bangladesh.....and congra8s to Bengal Tigers :)

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 14, 2011, 11:30 GMT)

now these giant killer will make any upset

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 13, 2011, 11:34 GMT)

‎"58 !!! Is it a good or bad number for Bangladesh? | Bangladesh were all out in 58 runs against West Indies! Bangladesh made unbeaten 58 runs in 9th wicket partnership to destroy England! What a miracle!!!"

Posted by Mohoshin on (March 13, 2011, 6:10 GMT)

Thanks God! May Bangladesh cricket team go a long way and gives us such a pleasant moment at all time. We are really proud for our cricket team. Request to all the fan of our country to be with the team and pray for their great success. Long live Bangladesh!

Posted by Mahmud on (March 13, 2011, 5:46 GMT)

I agree with Kurupji who has written that Bangladesh has won as Ashraful was not in the best 11 and didn't get chance to play as he got with W I. Presence of Ash is not helping BD now as it used to in the past of 4 / 5 years. But past performances cannot be brought forward to add with present accounts. Ashrafuls contributions in certain games cannot be brushed aside, but for that he was rewarded also. In the competition of performance, it is not past but the current figure counts and decides. No body can say that Ash was not given chance in-spite of his repeated failure in International matches. He was given rest for 2 years, but called back in the series with ZB and the result was poor. Batting in 3 or 4 position had been failure and 7th position didn't yield any result for him. As for bowler- 17 wickets in 166 ODI does not support his case as a bowler, rather that attempt inflicts injustice to a genuine bowler. KEEP ASH OUT OF THE TEAM IF U WANT REPEATED SUCCESS IN THE WORLD CUP.

Posted by Syed on (March 13, 2011, 2:10 GMT)

many congrats to BD team and supporters. it was big expectation against WI and over confidence that drowned us. But neverthless all young bangladeshi players who still too young to handle the pressure learning game by game. the only problem i see is all these TV channels at BD taking interviews of our players at every step making them thinikng what to say at that interview rather than playing their games. as a proof, look at india. MS dhoni is tired answering media. wishing all the best against NED and SA.

Posted by Saif on (March 12, 2011, 21:59 GMT)

BAN should take NED very seriously. Mahmud was a good substitute for Ashraful. Shahriar Nafees will be a very good substitute for Roquibul Hasan or Junaid Siddique.

Posted by Rezwan on (March 12, 2011, 18:20 GMT)

Congrats to Bangladesh, nothing seemed better than watching our team win live at Chittagong... Went from Dhaka to Chittagong to see our tigers roar again and they did... :)

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

Thanks Shafiul for 24 of 24 and Mahmud for scoring vital runs and placing correctly in the heat of the match. cheers

Posted by Ross on (March 12, 2011, 14:34 GMT)

Can't type. Laughing too much.

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Andrew Miller Andrew Miller was saved from a life of drudgery in the City when his car caught fire on the way to an interview. He took this as a sign and fled to Pakistan where he witnessed England's historic victory in the twilight at Karachi (or thought he did, at any rate - it was too dark to tell). He then joined Wisden Online in 2001, and soon graduated from put-upon photocopier to a writer with a penchant for comment and cricket on the subcontinent. In addition to Pakistan, he has covered England tours in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007
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