Bangladesh keep their hopes alive in the World Cup quarter-finals with their emphatic six wicket victory over Netherlands on their home turf at Chittagong. With this victory, Bangladesh poses serious challenge in Group B to twice finalist England, for qualification.
It was slow left-arm pacer Abdur Razzak, who took three wickets and opener Imrul Kayes, who remained not out after making marvelous 73, in fact helped their country the second victory in Chittagong in a gap of four days. Thus they kept alive their chances of reaching the last eight.
Bangladesh restricted Netherlands to 160 and cruised to 166-4 from 41.2 overs, winning the game with a six.
Now, they rely on West Indies to defeat England on Thursday at Chennai, to qualify for the first time to play quarter finals in the World Cup. Keeping their fingers crossed, the entire Bangla population of 150 million all set to cheer their team on when they take on South Africa in their Group B last encounter in Dhaka on Saturday.
The Bangladesh team opened its World Cup campaign with a loss to co-host India in Dhaka. But, they beat Ireland by 27 runs in their second league match. But, the entire team was demoralized when it got crushed at the hands of West Indies (bowled out for a paltry 58 runs).
Yet, on Monday they played with ‘never say die spirit’ against Netherlands to accomplish the set target of 160 in the 42nd over itself. It was Imrul, who shared a 92-run second wicket partnership with Zunaed Siddique, helped his team cruise closer to victory.. His unbeaten 73 came off 113 balls that included six boundaries, and he was declared man-of-the-match.
For Netherlands, only Ryan ten Doeschate, with 53 not out, managed a decent innings as the Dutch fell victim to four runouts, a stumping and slow spin. Bangladesh made the first breakthrough in the 10th over after captain Shakib al-Hasan trapped Wesley Barresi lbw for 10. No. 3 batsman Mudassar Bukhari (6) was the second man to go, caught by Mushfiqur Rahim off Abdur Razzak. He also trapped Tom de Grooth lbw for 4 and took Atse Buurman for a duck, caught by Imrul Kayes.
But ten Doeschate, the best Dutch batsman, came in at number five and was left stranded when Bangladesh tore through the tail. His 50 took 65 balls and included two fours and a six.
Abdur Razzak took 3-29 but Shafiul Islam was the pick of Bangladesh’s bowlers even though he didn’t take a wicket. He finished with figures of 0-15 from 9.2 overs, starving the Dutch of run-making chances.