by Aravind Mani
Bangladesh are one of the minnows who have risen to the status of serious contenders. With their recent performances they have shown their mettle to other teams. In this article we take a look at 12 glorious and defining moments in Bangladesh cricket history
- Winning ICC Trophy in 1997
Bangladesh made their debut in International Cricket in 1986, but they waited for many years before qualifying for the World Cup. By the time they played the qualification tournament for the 1999 World Cup to secure one of the 3 spots available for Associate teams. Bangladesh reached the finals and were given a target of 166 from 25 overs, which they chased till the last ball of the game. Bangladesh won the tournament by defeating Kenya, which was played over two days due to rain. With this win they not only won the trophy, but they also qualified for the 1999 world cup for the first time.
- Clinching Maiden ODI Victory
Bangladesh toured India and Kenya in the 1998 Coca-Cola Triangular series.They waited for almost a decade to clinch their first ODI win. They were set a target of 236 by Kenya. Bangladesh sent Mohammad Rafique as the opener for the first time, as he was a specialist bowler in the side. But that proved to be a master stroke as he scored 77 runs in the game and provided a good opening stand with Athar Ali Khan. They won the match with 2 overs remaining and Rafique was awarded the Man of the Match for his performance with both bat and ball. Though they didn’t make the final of the tri series, they made a mark in the international setup.
- Defeating Pakistan in the 1999 World Cup
Bangladesh were debutants in that mega event and they were playing against a formidable team Pakistan in their final group match. Pakistan were already ensured a place in the super sixes. Everyone thought Pakistan would go through with an easy win, but things got reversed as Bangladesh defeated Pakistan by 62 runs. Bangladesh scored 223 runs against a quality bowling attack. Pakistan flattered in the chase as they were reduced to 42 for the loss of 5 wickets. Khaled Mahmud was the star as he troubled Pakistanis with his spin which fetched 3 wickets to his name and a Man of the Match award. This win showed Bangladesh ability to defeat other big teams in the coming years.
- Test Debut at Home
Bangladesh earned Test status in 2000 and they immediately hosted India for one off Test at Dhaka. Despite some criticism like they were granted Test status too early, they successfully hosted the Test and brought some good memories to their fans. Bangladesh scored 400 runs, courtesy of Aminul Islam’s 145.They troubled India at the start but Sunil Joshi’s 92 helped India get a lead of 29 runs. In the second innings Bangladesh were all-out for 91 as Srinath and Joshi picked 3 wickets each to destroy their batting. India won the game comfortably, on the other hand Bangladesh won many hearts by giving their established opponents a tough fight.
- Mohammad Ashraful became Test cricket’s youngest centurion
Ashraful became the youngest to score a century on debut and in Test History eclipsing Hamilton Maskadza’s record. Sri Lanka bowled them out for 99 in first innings and they declared at 555-5.In the 2nd innings Ashraful played sensibly and hit 114 runs to show some fight from his side. Though they lost the game by an innings, Ashraful gave hope to the Bangladeshi fans and management that he would be one of the greatest prospects for the future.
- Maiden Test victory
Zimbabwe toured Bangladesh in 2005 at Chittagong. It gave hope for Bangladesh that they could clinch their first Test win. Bangladesh bowled ot Zimbabwe for 312 in first innings after they scored 448 in their innings with the help of Bashar and Rafique. Bangladesh set a target of 340 for them. They won the game comfortably by 226 runs and the main reason for their win was Enamul Haque Jnr who picked up a match winning 6 wicket haul in the 2nd innings. Bangladesh also won the series after the 2nd Test ended in draw.
- Beating Australia in an ODI
Bangladesh toured Australia and England in a tri series in 2005. Australia after electing to bat were in big trouble as they lost Ponting and Gilchrist inside 5 overs. Then with the help of the middle order Australia gave them a target of 250.Everyone thought Australia would win due to their lethal bowling attack, but Ashraful’s magical ton gave Bangladesh a famous win. They took the chase till the last over and shocked many people with their spirited performances as they went on to defeat the World Champions.
- Beating India to qualify for 2007 ICC World Cup Super Eights
Bangladesh defeated India in their opening match after chasing down a low score and ensured that they could easily qualify for the super 8’s.Then Bangladesh beat Bermuda to enter the super 8’s for the first time. They also created another upset by defeating South Africa in the super eights. Despite not going through to the semifinals they got a chance to directly qualify for the inaugural ICC world T20.
- Asia cup 2012
After long gap Bangladesh gave one spirited performances during the 2012 Asia Cup.They defeated India in their 2nd game after losing to Pakistan in first game. They also overshadowed Sachin’s 100th century in that game and defeated Sri Lanka to secure a place in the final. Bangladesh fell short of 2 runs in the final after playing till the end. Though they didn’t win the title, they won many hearts for their stellar show on the field.
- Beating England and qualifiing for 2015 World Cup quarter-final
Bangladesh defeated Afghanistan, Scotland and drew with Australia in group stages. In a virtual knock-out game against England, they set a target of 275 and defended it with ease, courtesy of Mahmudullah’s 100 and Rubel Hossain’s 4 wicket haul and secured a spot in quarter-finals against India. Their win against their fancied opponents was a great high for the side though they lost to India in quarters.
- Mustafizur Rahman in IPL 2016
Fizz was a phenomenal success story in his first IPL season with Sunrisers Hyderbad. He was one of the reasons that SRH clinched their maiden IPL title. He ended the season with 16 wickets from 14 matches at an economy of 6.71. Batsmen found it especially difficult to face him during the death overs. He also won the emerging cricketer of that season and gave hopes for his national team for the future.
- Shakib Al Hasan in MCC WCC
In 2017 he became the first Bangladeshi player to be included in MCC World Cricket committee under Mike Gatting. This was a huge boost for him and his national team as Bangladesh have themselves established as a strong team in ODIs. He is regarded as one of the best all-rounders in cricket and finest player for Bangladesh for many years since his debut. He will be welcomed by the committee when they chair a meeting at Sydney this year.