Bangladesh's performance in one-day cricket
Bangladesh cricket history's most cheerful day was when they achieved a stirring victory against Pakistan in the 1999 World Cup. It stunned the World since Pakistan, up to that stage of the tournament was leading and well ahead of Australia, the ultimate winners. In fact, that historic victory paved the way for Bangladesh's admission to the ICC as a regular member, a status granted a year later. Since then, Bangladesh has made a good effort to establish its credentials in International Cricket. Although they lost their inaugural Test match against India at Dhaka in November last and more recently have again been out played in the first Test match of the current two-test series against Zimbabwe, they have fought well and learnt at the same time. One should give them due credit for the amount of effort their cricketers have put in these matches and that also assures their bright future.
Bangladesh played its first One-day Internationals in 1985-86 and to date has played 40 ODI's, losing 38 and scoring a solitary victory each against Kenya, Scotland and Pakistan. It would be worth reviewing their performance in the recently concluded One-day International series against Zimbabwe.
Harare - First match:
Bangladesh tasted heavy defeat at the very out set of the series. Zimbabwe taught the babes of International Cricket a tough lesson by seven wickets. Bangladesh reached a relatively low total of 151 for 8 in 50-overs. Akram Khan (35), Mushfiqur Rahman (31) and Mohammad Rafique (22) were the only notable scorers. B Strang (2/25), Mutendera (2/45) and A Blignaut (2/24) all bowled well to contain the visitors and claim wickets. Zimbabwe, slowly but easily reached the target with 6.5 overs and seven wickets to spare. S Carlisle scored 40, A Flower 40 not out and G Flower 32 not out.
Harare - Second match:
Alistair Campbell scored his seventh One-day century (103) off 145 balls with 8 hits to the fence. He was associated with S Carlisle in a 2nd wicket partnership of 133 to enable Zimbabwe reach a modest total of 230-7, after being put into bat by Bangladesh. Manjurul Islam returned his career best analysis of 3 for 37 in ten overs. Bangladesh in reply, crashed to 103 all out in 30.4 overs. Only Javed Omar carried his bat for 33. Incidentally, the opener repeated this feat in the second innings of the first Test also. Bangladesh's last six wickets fell for 28 runs in nine overs. Heath Streak claimed 2 for 20, Mutendera 3 for 23 and Viljoen 2 for 14. Skipper Naimur Rahman struck 25 off 21 balls with four fours.
Bulawayo - Third match:
Bangladesh gave a good account of themselves in this match. Zimbabwe scored an imposing total of 308 for 4, mainly built through the 148 runs of a 4th wicket partnership between brothers Grant and Andy Flower. Grant scored 142 not out and Andy 81. S Carlisle scored 42 not out. Though Bangladesh surpassed their previous highest score of 257 yet their valiant effort fell 36 runs short of the target. Opener Javed Omar scored 69, Habibul Bashar hit 74 and their 3rd wicket partnership produced 74 runs off 103 balls. B Strang claimed 3 for 56, Mutendera 2/44 and Andy Blignaut 2/41. Grant Flower who had smashed 65 off the last five overs was the Man of the Match and the Series.
For the tourists, Javed Omar, Habibul Bashar, M Rahman and N Rahman batted with determination while Manjural Islam, Mohammad Sharif and Mushfiqur Rahman bowled well. Zimbabwe fully exploited the lack of experience and weaknesses of the minnows of International Cricket and thus convincingly won. However the visitors have surely been enriched with useful experience and exposure to top-level cricket.