Bangladesh bowled their hearts out to seal a berth in the World Cup quarter-finals knocking England out in the process with a nerve-wracking 15-run win in Adelaide on Monday. Rubel Hossain produced two deliveries from the heaven to knock off the bails of last two batsmen as England were all out for 260 runs replaying to Bangladesh’s modest 275-7. Bangladesh also owed their success to batsman Mahmudullah who notched up country’s first World Cup century, 103 off 138 balls, after coming to the crease at a perilous 8-2. But in the end it all came down to bowlers who completed the improbable task of bowling out England on a decent pitch where batting seemed anything but difficult. Mashrafee bin Murtaza led the bowling attack to earn two crucial breakthroughs and Taskin Ahmed, Sakib al Hasan and Rubel complemented their skipper to maintain the pressure.
The match was still slipping out of Bangladesh’s hand as Tamim Iqbal dropped a catch of England’s last recognised batsmen Chris Woakes under pressure at long off in the 47th over. England scored 15 runs from the over bowled by Taskin to bring the equation down to 16 off 12 ball with two wickets in hand. However, Rubel did not allow the game to take a further twist and bowled Stuart Broad off the first ball of the penultimate over to bring the last England batsman James Anderson at the crease. Anderson somehow survived the next ball but Rubel bowled him off the third ball of the over to trigger a wild celebration in the Bangladesh tent as it ensured Bangladesh’s qualification to the next phase. Rubel, who finished with 4-53, earlier provided a double blow in his sixth over to dismiss easy-going Ian Bell (63) and captain Eoin Morgan (0) in the space of four balls. The match swung to Bangladesh’s way when Mashrafee made Joe Root (29) a catch of Mushfiqur Rahim during the first over of batting powerplay to expose England’s tail finally. England entered the final 10 overs needing 95 runs with four wickets in hands but they still had a hard-hitter with the caliber of Jos Buttler that remained their hopes alive.
Buttler threatened to take the game away with his carefree batting before Taskin induced a sharp edge from his bat to make him another catch of Mushfiq for 65. Next ball saw Chris Jordan was run out with a direct throw from Sakib leaving Woakes to finish it off. But the all-rounder, unbeaten on 42, could only watch from the non-striking end as Rubel yorked out his last two remaining partners. It completed a memorable match for Bangladesh that began so unpromisingly for them after England asked them to bowl first in slightly overcast condition at Adelaide. Anderson is the bowler that any batsman would fear in such a testing condition and Bangladesh openers Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes were not the exceptions.
They were soon dismissed by the swing bowler with Bangladesh only eight runs on the board. As the weather started to improve Mahmudullah and Soumya Sarkar launched a counter attack to put an invaluable 86 runs for the third wicket steadying Bangladesh’s innings. Jordan bounced Soumya out for 40 and when Sakib followed him edging Moeen Ali at slip for two, Bangladesh sensed a danger having reduced to 99-4. From that precarious position the heroic saga of Mahmudullah and Mushfiq evolved on. –
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