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Archive for the ‘bangladesh’ Category

Good news for any West Midlands-based fans of under-exposed world class Bangladeshi all-rounders (of which, no doubt, there are many) – Worcestershire have signed Shakib Al Hasan for 2010. “I am thrilled and inspired to be joining the team once graced by Ian Botham, Imran Khan and Vikram Solanki”, he didn’t quite say.

Does this mean that Bangladeshi cricket is finally showing up on county administrators’ radar? Or just that Simon Jones’ massive medical bills mean that the Royals can’t afford anyone with a higher profile?

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Whilst the cricketing world has been looking forward to the Fifth Ashes Test at the Oval, remarkable things have been happening in Zimbabwe. Trailing 2-1 in the ODI series against Bangladesh, the hosts must surely have fancied their chances of levelling it after posting 312 in their 50 overs, including a world-record-equalling 19 not out from Charles Coventry (which is almost certainly also a record for a man wearing glasses).

Even that wasn’t enough as the tourists, led by Tamim Iqbal‘s 154 from 138 balls (a career best), reached the required 313 in just 47.5 overs. It must have been one hell of a batting pitch.

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Bangladesh’s first ever overseas Test series victory may have come against a weakened West Indies side, but it does have a number of fringe benefits, not least the fact that Shakib Al Hasan has the chance to show off his quality in a winning cause. Having taken eight wickets in the Second Test (including 5-70 in the second innings) and made 96 not out as Bangladesh knocked off the required runs to seal the series, Shakib is starting to garner attention beyond the hardcore fans.

If Bangladesh are to establish themselves as a Test side to be reckoned with, and not just a minnow that can win the odd match and series against reserve teams, then the likes of Al Hasan, and Tamim Iqbal (who recently made his first ever Test century), will need to stand up and be counted as the influence of the old guard starts to wane. The silver lining of the huge metaphorical cloud that is what’s happening over in the Caribbean is that the Tigers are getting a chance to find out what winning Test matches feels like.

Here’s hoping they get a taste for it.

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Ireland qualified for the Super Eight stage of the World Twenty20 with a victory over Bangladesh that came courtesy of brothers Niall and Kevin O’Brien.

Of the two teams, Bangladesh looked more like the side unused to the big occasion, with wickets being thrown away with gay abandon throughout their innings, with Tamim Iqbal’s run out being a comic highlight. Mohammad Ashraful also committed the cricketing equivalent of hari-kiri in the sort of display that had coach Jamie Siddons up in arms. Apparently, one of the main issues is “getting to the bus on time”.

For Ireland, such minor transportation issues are as insignificant as the absence of Eoin Morgan. Roll on the Super Eights…

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The ICC World Twenty20 gets underway from Friday. Here’s part one of my preview:

India, the defending champions, will face high expectations after emerging triumphant from the thrilling finale last time out.  The intervening years have of course seen the development of the Indian Premier League, a competition that means India’s players have a wealth of Twenty20 experience (although the national side has only played five T20 Internationals since the last competition, winning only one). Twenty20 superstars such as MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh will certainly strengthen the holders’ chances of retaining the title.

Bangladesh caused a minor shock last time out when they beat the West Indies to make the Super Eight, and hopes will be high that they can reach that stage again. The likes of Tamim Iqbal, Mohammad Ashraful and Shakib Al Hasan are potential match-winners, but no Bangladeshi player has yet set the IPL alight, and any progression beyond the last eight seems unlikely for the Tigers.

Ireland qualified for the tournament mainly thanks to an impressive performance from Andre Botha. The side will, however, be missing a key player of recent years in Eoin Morgan, who has been called into England’s squad for the tournament.  A surprise result against Bangladesh could see the Irish sneak into the Super Eight (much as they did in the last 50-over World Cup), but on balance the current side (especially without Morgan) may be hard-pressed to repeat the heroics of 2007.

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Bangladesh all out for 152? Seen it (youtube here).

Mendis taking 3-24? Par for the course.

Sri Lanka 6/5 in reply? Worth paying attention…

Murali making 33 from 21 balls to win the series? Priceless (youtube here).

The Tri-series final between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka was quite a match, with Bangladesh coming agonisingly close to victory despite their poor first innings total. It seems the Tigers are finally starting to roar, if not yet loud enough to win anything.

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Since being ravaged by the ICL, Bangladesh have actually been improving (with one or two regressions to the mean), mainly thanks to Shakib Al Hasan. The all-rounder’s run of recent good performances continued in today’s Tri-Series match against Sri Lanka, as he to propel the Tigers into Friday’s final, also against the Sri Lankans.

If Bangladesh are to become a serious One-Day side, then they will need Shakib to put in performances like this on a regular basis. The erstwhile kittens will also be hoping that bowling performances like today’s (youtube here) come along with more regularity). If the top ordr could get their act together, they might give a lot of the more established sides a few more scares.

As for Sri Lanka, the task of winning the series, previously considered by most observers as relatively simple, now seems a great deal more troublesome.

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