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February 28, 2007
Bangladesh 278 for 5 (Saqibul 134*, Cummins 3-60) beat Canada 265 for 7 (Billcliff 93, Barnett 77) by 13 runs
Bangladesh gained vengeance over Canada, the side who beat them so famously in the 2003 World Cup ... but only just, as Ian Billcliff and Geoff Barnett led a valiant pursuit of a stiff target of 279. In the end Canada finished 13 runs short, thanks to a brilliant allround display from the Man of the Match, Saqibul Hasan, who added two economical wickets to his first innings 134 not out.
After winning the toss and choosing to bowl first, Canada made a dream start thanks to the former West Indian allrounder, Anderson Cummins, who grabbed Shahriar Nafees and Aftab Ahmed for two ducks in three balls. When Tamin Iqbal was run out for 11 soon afterwards, Bangladesh had slumped to 30 for 3, but from thereon in they turned their innings around thanks to the endeavours of Saqibul and the middle-order bankers of Habibul Bashar and Mohammad Ashraful.
Saqibul, who hit 14 fours in a 152-ball innings, added 132 for the fourth wicket with his captain Bashar, who was eventually caught behind for 57 off Abdool Samad. Ashraful then injected some real urgency to Bangladesh's run-scoring, slapping 60 from 45 balls including seven fours and a six, before he too was caught behind off the final ball of the innings. That was Ashish Bagai's fourth catch of the innings, and a deserved third wicket for Cummins.
In reply, Canada also made an inauspicious start when Samad retired hurt in the second over, moments before Shahadat Hossain bagged Bagai for a first-ball duck. But Billcliff and Barnett transformed the picture for Canada, adding 177 for the second wicket. All the Bangladeshi bowlers were treated alike in an excellent partnership, but it was Saqibul's left-arm spin that made the breakthrough. He had Barnett stumped for 77 before adding the dangerous John Davison 12 runs later for 2.
Billcliff, with a maiden ODI century in sight, was then bowled for 93 by Abdul Razzak, and Canada had lost three prime wickets for 17 runs. But Ashif Mulla, aided by the tail and an extravagant tally of 25 extras, inched Canada ever closer to their target. In the end though, the asking rate was just that little bit too steep, and when he was run out for 44, Canada's challenge fizzled away.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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