Hong Kong gave every Associate nation a reason to rejoice by pulling off the shock of the tournament thus far beating Bangladesh by two wickets in a last-over finish, despite the hosts managing to edge past Nepal on net run-rate for a place in the Super 10s.
Haseeb Amjad smacked Abdur Razzak for a six over extra cover to complete the win in 19.4 overs. But the match was set up by their bowlers who bowled out of their literal skins, with Nadeem Ahmed winning the man-of-the-match award for his four-wicket haul. Irfan Ahmed and Munir Dar completed their greatest ever triumph with a cluster of boundaries when the game could have sprung out of their reach.
For once, Irfan didn't get out to the first ball of the innings as Al-Amin Hossain dropped a simple return catch. Then it was Rubel Hossain who dropped him on 12 at short third man and injured himself. But in between and after, Irfan blasted three sixes and three fours in his 28-ball 34 that ate into Bangladesh's tiny total - their second lowest in T20s. They suffered a collapse too, but it was Dar, the veteran, who stood firm in the end, biffing three fours and a six in his 36 off 27 balls.
Dar had to endure a collision with Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim while trying to complete a second run in the 15th over. But fatefully, he found Farhad Reza, a former teammate from the only time he played in the Dhaka Premier League seven years ago, to his liking and smashed 15 runs in the 17th over when they needed 26 runs off 24 balls.
Hong Kong, however, waded into Bangladesh with the ball in hand. Left-arm spinner Nadeem took 4 for 21, his best bowling figures in T20s while Nizakat Khan, whose bowling action has a slight Shahid Afridi resemblance, picked up three wickets for 19 runs. Irfan Ahmed's only wicket started the Bangladesh batting collapse while Tanwir Afzal's two early wickets helped Hong Kong keep the noise in the ground down.
Bangladesh's descent started, as it does when they play this poorly, in the first over when Tamim Iqbal tried to cut Tanwir's incoming delivery and had his off stump flattened. Tanwir trapped Sabbir Rahman with another delivery that went in, and replays showed it would have crashed into leg and middle.
Anamul Haque and Shakib Al Hasan, perhaps embarrassed by the early wickets or driven by superiority, went after the Hong Kong bowlers till the end of the Powerplay overs. Off the last ball of the sixth over, just after he had struck Nadeem for three consecutive boundaries, Anamul played on to an innocuous delivery. Bangladesh were still going strong in the eleventh over when Shakib played a scoop, tried another and then finally gave a simple catch to deep midwicket. The shot didn't do justice to the comfort of 85 for 3, but do any of their shots ever?
That's when the rot took over. In the space of 5.5 overs, Hong Kong not just got themselves into the game, they got on top of it and ruled. Mushfiqur's attempted slog at Nizakat fell at cover's hands. Mahmudullah was bowled by Nadeem as he tried to pick a single on the off-side, the delivery looking far better in the TV replay as there was a bit of confusion whether Jamie Atkinson had deflected it.
Atkinson then gulped in Reza's edge off Nizakat and then took an even better take off the next ball to dismiss Razzak. It was 101 for 8 in the 14th over. Soon Rubel Hossain was removed by Nadeem, and then with a chance to construct a last-wicket resistance, Nasir Hossain decided to give Al-Amin Hossain the strike. The result was predictable as the No 11 holed out at long-on, a spectacular catch by Babar Hayat, who had earlier let one slip through his legs.
The collapse complete with seven wickets falling in 5.5 overs, for just 23 runs. This was a batting disgrace, particularly the attitude that came with the batting.