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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Whilst the attention of the cricketing world has been elsewhere, Bangladesh have been battling away in Dhaka, taking their Test match against Sri Lanka into a fifth day. The fact that the Tigers’ supremely unlikely chase of 521 will continue tomorrow is largely due to Mohammad Ashraful and Shakib Al Hasan, both of who will resume tomorrow to try and extend their partnership of 74.

Ashraful in particular looked impressive while making his first half-century in nearly 20 innings, and Al Hasan is a contender for the home side’s man of the match, given his five-for in the first innings. Earlier, Tamim Iqbal had made 47 before getting out rashly.

For the tourists, Bangladesh’s fightback is an inconvenience, but the might of Murali is likely to be too much for the hosts to hold out. And Mendis will be back in the side for the Second Test, so things will only get harder for the Tigers.

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Bangladesh, despite another good performance from Shakib Al Hasan, weren’t able to capitalise on having South Africa 134-5 during the Second Test between the sides. Ashwell Prince and Mark Boucher both ended the day unbeaten, having also both made centuries.

Yesterday, the Bangladeshi batsmen continued their lacklustre form, with only two batsmen making decent scores as the side made 250. There are signs of some progress from the kittens/cubs, but not enough to suggest that they’ll win a Test anytime soon.

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Much like the way Pakistan’s cricket fans now have an ‘unnofficial’ side to follow which plays more often than the ‘official’ side (two if you count both the Lahore Badshahs and the ICL Pakistan XI), there are now two Bangladesh teams to follow.

One, that backed by the official governing body, will play in the Second Test against South Africa tomorrow, hoping to salvage some pride. The prospect of a win in that contest seems exceedingly unlikely, given (as Will Luke puts it) the fact that “their form guide, a string of ‘Ls’, reads like a Welsh railway station“.

Meanwhile, the unofficial, ICL side had some success today, beating their Indian equivalents with 3 balls to spare mainly thanks to the efforts of Shahriar Nafees. If the ‘real’ Bangladesh keep losing, then more and more casual fans may be drawn to the glamour and relative success of the ‘fake’ ICL side. That would, in my view, be a shame, but I can’t blame those fans if they feel they’d rather watch a half-decent Twenty20 side than see the Test side get hammered repeatedly.

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Whilst the official Bangladesh side was getting in a bit of practice on the Bloemfontein pitch where they have just suffered an innings defeat, the unofficial ICL version took on a World XI in the ICL World Series.

Admittedly, this was the sort of World XI that includes Paul Nixon and Chris Harris, rather than the sort that includes Lara, Tendulkar and Muralitharan, but it’s still worth a mention. Much as the Lahore Badshahs captured the imagination of Pakistani cricket fans when the PCB side wasn’t playing much, a competitive Bangladeshi ICL side could prove a serious rival to the official side for the affections of the average cricket fan in Dhaka.

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South Africa have totally annihilated/obliterated/extirpated Bangladesh in the First Test. The tourist’s openers made a mere 41 runs in the entire match – and nightmare debutant Imrul Kayes only managed 14 of them.

One of the few bright spots for the tourists was Shakib Al Hasan‘s 5-for. The young slow left-armer is building a bit of a reputation for himself, having now taken 80 wickets in internationals (13 in Tests, 57 in ODIs and 10 in T20Is) and with a fairly decent average.

For the home side, this series is unlikely to be the ideal preparation for taking on the might of Australia, but at least most of them got some batting practice in.

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