Bangladesh chastened after scare
The hosts are into the Super 10s, but it was with a whimper as they suffered embarrassment at the hands of Hong Kong after an awful display with the bat
In 1981 when Norway shocked England in a football World Cup qualifier, so excited was the late Norwegian commentator Bjørge Lillelien that he beckoned four British prime ministers, an admiral, a press baron, a boxer and a member of the Royal family in a famous outburst.
Hong Kong does not have a famous cricket commentator, nor cricketers. But they have handed Bangladesh an objective lesson in how not to be overconfident after crushing two Associate nations.
Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim, like he has done a few times in the past, took a bit of the blame when clearly he was not the only one who played a shocking shot or showed a shocking attitude. Tamim Iqbal did not necessarily have to chop a ball homing in on off stump, neither was Shakib Al Hasan was required to slog one right into deep midwicket's throat when Bangladesh were batting well on 85 for 3.
Anamul Haque had struck three boundaries in a row but got out trying to play another attacking shot off the next ball. But Mushfiqur did not mention him, nor held Tamim or Shakib responsible.
"I don't think they were too attacking," Mushfiqur said. "Tamim missed the line of the ball while trying to play a defensive shot. Shakib was the only set batsman in that wicket and he had the responsibility to not just keep the batting in shape but put up a competitive score.
"So in that sense, he was playing well and nobody was supporting him that well. He played a good shot but it went to the fielder. I could have waited to play my shot for two or three overs. But I never expected the collapse that came after me. I was telling them in the dugout that we need a partnership in the late order. It is really disappointing because there is a way to get out. I think they are trying, but they should do it a little more willingly."
The full impact of the collapse was 7 for 23 in 5.5 overs. Bangladesh crashed from 85 for 3 in the eleventh over to be bowled out for 108 in the 17th. Mushfiqur laid the blame for the defeat on the collapse, but said Nasir Hossain was unlucky to have Al-Amin Hossain as a partner in the last five overs and suggested Farhad Reza will be dropped in the next game.
"Nasir hasn't been performing up to his potential but he didn't have a batsman at the other end to support him at that stage. He could have batted naturally in the last three or four overs. He was having problem timing the ball so he was unlucky. The full blame is on the top and middle-order.
"The team management thought that it would be better to pick the extra seamer in an evening game. Unfortunately he didn't perform tonight and in the last few matches. Hopefully we will have a different combination in Dhaka where there will be different conditions."
Mushfiqur still had hopes of a turnaround in the Super 10s, to which they qualified quietly in the 14th over of the Hong Kong's innings.
"This is a very bad feeling, whether we make it to the Super 10 or not," he said. "I could never expect such a poor batting performance from our team. But having said that, anything can happen in T20s, so I would say that we have a chance against all four big teams. If we play to our potential, we can win any day."
That day however wasn't Thursday. With Lillelien's spirit hovering somewhere over the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury media centre, moments after little-known Haseeb Amjad took a six off accomplished left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak to win Hong Kong the game, who could almost hear a version of the famous line 33 years ago.
"We are the best in the world! We are the best in the world! We have beaten Bangladesh by two wickets in cricket!! It is completely unbelievable! We have beaten Bangladesh! Bangladesh, birthplace of minnows. Akram Khan, Aminul Islam, Minhajul Abedin, Naimur Rahman, Habibul Bashar, Mohammad Ashraful, Salma Khatun - we have beaten them all. We have beaten them all."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here