Tigers through to Super Eights
25 Mar 2007
By: Matt Pitt
Bangladesh today sealed their progress into the second stage of the World Cup for the first time ever, beating Bermuda by seven wickets in a severely rain-affected contest. The result also sent India crashing out of the tournament at the first opportunity. However, some confusion over Bangladesh's potential target threatened to mar the contest.
Bermuda's innings was interrupted by rain on no less than four occasions, meaning that their alloted number of overs was constantly up for revision. Eventually, with 15.1 overs gone, play resumed for the final time - Bermuda were in some trouble at 45-4, and this was compounded by the revelation that the match had been reduced to a 21-over contest. This left them with only 5.5 overs to bat, and virtually no hope of posting a challenging target for the Tigers to chase.
Having prodded and poked around for most of their innings amidst numerous disruptions and on a difficult pitch, Bermuda then began to show some of the fighting spirit that got them to the tournament in the first place. Their final 5.5 overs yielded 49 runs, with wicketkeeper Dean Minors' innings of 23 anchoring proceeding as much as was possible. Lionel Cann also struck a memorable 16 from only six balls, clonking a massive six off the bowling of Aftab Ahmed.
There was much confusion over Bangladesh's revised target, after allowances had been made for Bermuda's rain interruptions - in the end, the Duckworth-Lewis method was not kind to Irvine Romaine's men, adding just two runs to their target. 96 could easily have proved a stumbling block for an inexperienced side in tough conditions, and Saleem Mukuddem quickly set about making it just that.
Mukuddem swung the ball around corners as the Bangladesh top order struggled to make an impact - despite a big six from Shahriar Nafees, the top three all fell before the score reached forty. 37-3 looked precarious, but the partnership of Shakib ul Hasan and Mohammad Ashraful saw them home.
Showing good touch and technique, the two youngsters played with great maturity - going over the top when necessary, and finding the gaps in the field well. Before long, Bermuda's chances of winning had evaporated, and not even the considerable spectre of Dwayne Leverock coming in to bowl could perturb the two youngsters. One powerful sweep from Shakib, one chip over mid-off from Ashraful, and the match was over.
Bangladesh have reached the Super Eights - their status among the big boys of world cricket can no longer be denied. Well done to them.
Bermuda 94-9 (21 overs)
Dean Minors 23, Lionel Cann 16
Abdur Razzak 3-20
Bangladesh 96-3 (17.3 overs)
Mohammad Ashraful 29*, Shakib ul Hasan 26*
Saleem Mukuddem 3-19
Bangladesh win by seven wickets
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