posted on 2019-06-24 06:34:58
posted by Manya Pilani
Image Source: Forbes
In any tournament that Bangladesh play, it is the undying spirit of their fans, filling up stadiums around the globe and articulating their team’s cricket through mere emotions that becomes the picture of their tournament. Or sometimes it is the surprise victory - an “upset” as they call it in cricket that takes the headlines. But this World Cup has been different for the Bangladeshi Tigers, where their batting performances have made the whole world to sit up and take notice.
Bangladesh sit sixth on the points table with 5 points from 6 games. While this might not be looking overly impressive graphically, what it does not tell us is how the Asian side has given some gripping fights throughout the tournament, owing to clinical batting shows.
Bangladesh sounded their warning bells in the first game itself, putting 330 runs on the board against a South African side that was banking on its bowling resources back then. It was Shakib Al Hasan who bagged the Player-Of-The-Match in that game and he led the way for more Bangladeshi assaults as the tournament progressed.
One look at the batting charts and you’ll see what Bangladesh’s premier all-rounder has brought to cricket’s mega-event. With 425 runs in 5 games, he is second only to David Warner who has played one game more. The top 5 names in the list includes batting stalwarts like Joe Root, Aaron Finch, and Kane Williamson. With a couple of centuries and a couple of player-of-the-match awards under his belt, Shakib has brilliantly conducted Bangladesh’s contention for the coveted cup. Even when England set a daunting target of 386 at Cardiff which proved to be too much for Bangladesh at the end, it was Shakib’s ton that ensured that his side never surrendered during the chase.
The move of making Shakib bat up the order at No.3, followed by Mushfiqur Rahim at No.4 has worked wonders for the side, for they are Bangladesh’s two most experienced players. Rahim is the second highest run-scorer for Bangladesh in this tournament having amassed 244 runs which includes a fighting century against Australia, albeit in a losing cause.
The grounds for a successful middle order performance has been a steady contribution from openers Soumya Sarkar and Tamim Iqbal. While the two haven’t quite unlocked their full potential yet, they have done just enough for the other batsmen to capitalize on the groundwork.
What was the highest of highs for this batting line-up - the chase against the West Indies - unearthed another batting hero for Bangladesh in the form of Liton Das. Liton, who has been in and out of this team, struck a magnificent 94 (69) with Shakib Al Hasan (124) at the other end to effortlessly guide his side to a target of 322, 9 overs prior to the completion of innings.
In no match has Bangladesh looked meek, even if the odds were heavily stacked against them. The subcontinent side has been riding on a batting high. They have already scored more tons in this World Cup (3) than they had in all the previous World Cups combined (2). Bangladesh has surpassed the 300-score mark thrice in 5 games. With the bowling not coming to the party yet, the batting has kept Bangladesh at every team’s heels, running quite a few of them close and even knocking down a couple. The payoff? Bangladesh are still in the hunt for a place in the Top 4 and however slender their chances are, they are there even in a competition in which results have massively swayed in favor of 3 teams.
Bangladesh have already quashed two historically successful sides in World Cups - South Africa and West Indies, by virtue of superior batting displays. The subcontinent side has always portrayed that it had the skills to compete in big multi-nation tournaments. But this year Bangladesh are showing that they possess the temperament as well. Always labeled as “minnows” coming into such competitions, Bangladesh have upgraded their status quo to “contenders”. Now, they need to win all three of their remaining games to have a shot at the semi-finals and they would be positively leaning on their batting attack to give them that final push in the business end of the league stages.