Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Bangladesh impresses with remarkable fightback to battle past Canada

Canada brought back the memories of World Cup 2003 to most part of the game in a very well fought encounter at Antigua Recreation Ground in the third and final ODI of ICC tri-series. Chasing a victory target of 279 in 50 overs, Canada went as far as 265/7 in stipulated 50 overs. They fell short of 13 runs at the end in a match which could have been won by any team. Bangladesh made an exceptional comeback to deny Canada a very well deserved win. At the end, the experienced Bangladesh side saved the blushes by some intelligent bowling from their slow left arm bowlers.

Canada defied all odds during the run chase and an impressive 177 run 2nd wicket partnership between GEF Barnett and IS Billcliff put them in a very commanding position. This pair had no problem whatsoever in milking the runs. Sakib Al Hasan produced the most vital breakthrough of the match by removing GEF Barnett. His departure sparked a mini collapse and Canada lost the momentum as both IS Bilcliff and Captain JM Davison departed in quick succession. Despite the wicket fall Canada maintained the run chase and it was anybody's game. Ashif Mulla quick fired 44 of 36 deliveries to set up an exciting finish. Finally, Bangladesh being more experienced of the two side kept their head cool and won the match in a tense finish by 13 runs. Canada faltered at the end and despite having wickets in hand failed to reap from its earlier build up to record an upset victory.

Earlier, Canada won the toss and Bangladeh to bat. The decision paid immediate dividend when veteran Andy Cummins plucked two quick wickets to reduce Bangladesh to an embarrassing 4/2. Both Aftab and Shahriar Nafees edged the very first delivery they faced. They were reduced to 30/3 after Tamim Iqbal got run out. Captain Habibul Bashar paired up with in form batsman Sakib Al Hasan and took the score to 162 in 37 overs. Bashar fell after a well composed 57. Mohammad Ashraful joined Sakib Al Hasan and this pair scored run freely to post 278/5 in 50 overs. On the way, Sakib earned his maiden ODI ton, Ashraful reached a quick fire half century from just 38 balls. He got out for 60 runs in the last ball of the match. Sakib remained not out for a very well played 134*. In this process, he superseded Shahriar Nafees's 123 to post the highest individual ODI score for Bangladesh.

It was a great recovery from a tattering start. Sakib showed why he is considered as one of the brightest prospect of Bangladesh cricket. Captain Habibul Bashar again showed the value of experience in putting up a valuable 4th wicket partnership with sakib. Finally Ashraful scored some good runs which helped Bangladesh to post a very commanding total which at the end proved just sufficient to edge past Canada.

Todays match was a great display of one day cricket and both teams had their time in the middle. From a Canadian point of view it set an ideal platform for some good performances in the upcoming world cup and it send some clear message to other members of group C in which Canada is placed with England, New Zealand and Kenya. From Bangladesh's perspective it was a great display of character to upturn the fate of the game despite trailing in most part of the proceedings.

Bangladesh has lot to gain from todays win. Someone might dubb the hard fought win as the below par performance against a minnow nation but in a real sense it game Bangladesh an ideal practice for the world cup where they are targeting second round berth. Canada in recent past enjoyed some good moments in batting and scored consistently over 250 in their last few ODI's. They had a memorable run chase of 309 against Ireland in recently concluded World Cricket League in which they succeeded loosing only 4 wickets. This clearly indicates their strength and depth of batting. They again proved their might today. On the other hand, Bangladesh in both batting and bowling came back strongly from the brink of failure. This was a really impressive show from a regularly improving side.

Bangladesh took the ICC tri series as part of the world cup preparation and I have to admit that it could not have gone any better. After showing the batting and bowling might against the hapless Bermuda, Bangladesh showed the maturity of an international side in todays win. They were taken to the wire by the Canadians but at the Bangladesh had the last laugh due to some superior understanding of the situation. Another positive out of todays win is the exposure of the weak points of Bangladesh which they have the opportunity to rectify in the two warm up matches before the gala event. At the end, I must congratulate Bangladesh team for their fighting spirit which kept the head of the fans high ahead of crucial world cup ties.

Bangladesh posts 278/5 in 50 overs against Canada

Bangladesh recovered well from a very unexpected start in the match against Canada. They lost two quick wickets in the second over. Both Aftab and Shahriar Nafees edged the very first delivery they faced. They were reduced to 30/3 after Tamim Iqbal got run out. Captain Habibul Bashar paired up with in form batsman Sakib Al Hasan and took the score to 162 in 37 overs.

Bashar fell after a well composed 57. Mohammad Ashraful joined Sakib Al Hasan and this pair scored run freely to post 278/5 in 50 overs. On the way, sakib earned his maiden ODI ton, Ashraful reached a quick fire half century from just 38 balls. He got out for 60 runs in the last ball of the match. Sakib remained not out for a very well played 134*. In this process, he superseded Shahriar Nafees's 123 to post the highest individual ODI score for Bangladesh.

It was a great recovery from a tattering start. Sakib showed why he is considered as one of the brightest prospect of Bangladesh cricket. Captain Habibul Bashar again showed the value of experience in putting up a valuable 4th wicket partnership with sakib. Finally Ashraful scored some good runs which helped Bangladesh to post a very commanding total.

After a good top order batting display in the first match against Bermuda, Bangladesh showed today the real depth of batting line up.

Canada is replying quite well. After 13 overs 63/1

Sunday, 25 February 2007

Bangladesh Started the World Cup Warm Up With a Bang

Bangladesh crushed Bermuda in the opening match of the ICC tri series at Antigua Recreation ground as part of their world cup preparation.

I have to admit that Bangladesh made their best possible start to build the momentum ahead of the World Cup. Bowlers needed time to settle in, they got that time. Batsmen needed to show the difference in class and they did that quite well. Fielders were up to the task.

After restricting Bermuda to a modest 205/8 in 50 overs, Bangladesh reached the target in just 37.3 overs. Shahriar Nafees remained not out with 104 runs in 112 balls, Sakib Al Hasan supported him well with a patient 42 runs. Aftab Ahmed produced a blistering display of 42 runs in 27 balls.

Bangladesh's only weak point in the match was the below par bowling. Apart from Rafiq, Rasel and Razzak other failed miserably to dominate the weak Bermuda batting line up. First choice opening bowlers Mashrafee Mortaza and Shahadat Hossain were absent due to minor injury. They should be fit before final clash on 28th February against Canada.

Tri Series and World Cup Warm Up Matches : Bangladesh Must Build the Momentum

Bangladesh is heading to Caribbeans on 20th February to participate in a tri-series involving Bangladesh and two associates Bermuda and Canada. This is considered as an acclimatising tour for Bangladesh, who will be playing Caribbean after almost three long years. The tri series will be held at Antigua recreation ground and Bangladesh will play Bermuda on 25 February and will take on Canada on 28th. After the tri series Bangladesh will play against New Zealand on 5th March 2007 and Scotland on 8th March as part of the World Cup Warm up matches before featuring the Gala event starting from 13th March 2007. Both the matches will be played at Barbados.

Bangladesh played some good cricket over the last one year and surpassed their trivial rivals Zimbabwe and Kenya comfortably. Bangladesh Cricket is on the verge of entering the big league where they will pose continuous threats to every other country and is expected to win a match in their day against any opposition. Now, this transformation requires some excellence in every aspect of their game including the mindset. Coach Dav Whatmore injected some confidence into the squad and the mindset is slowly but gradually changing. It is the high time in the Caribbean to exhibit the change of mindset to the cricket world and make the transformation happen.

ICC tri series involving Bermuda and Canada is the first opportunity to do that. Bangladesh has to make some records straight as they have mixed memories against these opposition. Undoubtedly, Canada inflicted the worst wound in the cricketing history of Bangladesh by defeating them in the last world cup at South Africa. Surprisingly, that's not the only time when they defeated Bangladesh, in the ICC trophy Bangladesh tasted one defeat against the same opposition and managed only one win in three encounters. Bangladesh played Bermuda twice in the ICC trophy level and manged to win one match while lost the other. Looking at the statistics, it is clear that there is no reason to take these oppositions lightly. Having said that, Bangladesh must establish their utmost superiority over these countries to make any impact in the world cup cricket 2007.

Bangladesh holds much better record against the leading minnow nations Zimbabwe and Kenya but the annoying fact is they never played these oppositions with a ruthless fashion which other top teams do. Bangladesh will be playing the tri-series in Antigua which is considered as the batting paradise of the Caribbeans. Canada and Bermuda has a less than decent bowling attack. All guns of Bangladesh team must utilize the opportunity in the best possible manner and show their might in the ruthless fashion by amassing huge total in both the matches. Same goes for the bowlers and they must distinguish themselves from ordinary attacks. Winning is important but a modest win against these oppositions will not add anything to Bangladesh's credit. Two thumping win will create some noise in the world cricket arena and draw some attention which Bangladesh badly needs in the upcoming world cup.

After the tri-series, Bangladesh will travel to lovely Barbados which has one of the most lively wickets of the Caribbeans. Bangladesh will find more similarity in wicket nature of Barbados and Trinidad compared to Antigua and Trinidad. At the same time, there will be some similarity in the strength of the oppositions. First warm up match against New Zealand is the most crucial affair for Bangladesh apart from the crucial world cup ties against India and Sri Lanka. Bangladesh failed miserably in all matches they played against New Zealand and never managed to cross even 200 in any of the seven matches played. After two and half years, it is the time to display some cricketing skill against the Kiwis and sneak a win to continue the momentum going. Even if, they fail to win, the match should be close enough to exhibit the change of gear, Bangladesh cricket made over the last one year. The cricket world will monitor this match closely as this will test Bangladesh's cricketing ability more than 10 matches against Zimbabwe or Kenya. The last practice match against Scotland must be another routine affair where Tigers will show their killing spree.

Bangladesh failed to take the most ideal preparation for the world cup due to lack of matches against quality oppositions. Keeping that in mind, we must admit, Bangladesh managed to achieve the most from what was offered to them by the ICC. For the first time in their cricketing history, Bangladesh will be playing World Cup Cricket with the aim to reach the next round which their juniors achieved for the first time in last U-19 world cup. They have four one day matches to play, they must utilize these matches to build the momentum and reach the peak in right time. If they can do that, cricket world will experience a different Bangladesh who are ready to make a history.

England A in Bangladesh 2006-07

England is currently visiting Bangladesh to play two 4 day test matches (first class) with Bangladesh A and three list A matches.

Here's the tour Itinerary,

Feb 14 - England A arrive in Dhaka
Feb 17-19 - Warm-up match v Bangladesh National Academy, Mirpur
Feb 22-25 v Bangladesh A, Mirpur
Mar 1-4 v Bangladesh A, SCS, Bogra
Mar 7 v Bangladesh A, SCS, Bogra
Mar 9 v Bangladesh A, Mirpur
Mar 11 v Bangladesh A, Mirpur

They are playing their only practice match against the Bangladesh National Cricket Academy team. Here's the teams -

BCB Academy:
Jahurul Islam
Junaid Siddique
Nasiruddin Faruque
Marshall Ayub
Nadif Chowdhury (Cpt)
Mahmudullah Riyad
Saghir Hossain (WK)
Suhrawadi Shuvo
Mosharraf Hossain
Dolar Mahmud
Ziaur Rahman
Mohammad Shahzada

England A-team:
Nick Compton
Will Jefferson
Michael Yardy (Cpt)
Michael Carrberry
Steve Davies (WK)
Alex Loudon
Matt Prior (WK)
Tim Bresnan
Stuart Broad
Adil Rashid
Graham Onions
Tom Smith

A drawn match with most of the credit going to the tourists.

Second innings poor shows marred the bravery of the first innings of our boys.

England A Vs BCB National Academy

England A327/4 (dec) & 226/3 (dec) Over -68; Carberry 100*, Davis 67; Mosharraf 2/80
BCB National Academy326/10 & 56/5 Over -Marshall 23*; Jahirul 10, Nasiruddin 10, Junaed 4, Nadif 4, Sagir 0*; Onions 3/30, Smith 1/3, Broad 1/15
Match Drawn

I am very pleased with the way our boys responded to the challenge. They have managed a draw against one of the topmost A teams of current cricket.

After Khaled Mashud's refusal to play for A team, Sagir is making a good fight for the place. Nice competition going on between Sagir and Dhiman.

Bangladesh Squad for World Cup Cricket 2007

National selectors have named the 15 man squad for upcoming World Cup Cricket.

Here's our boys, The Tigers

Bangladesh Squad

1. Habibul Bashar (captain)
2. Shahriar Nafees (vice-captain)
3. Abdur Razzak
4. Aftab Ahmed
5. Javed Omar
6. Mashrafe Mortaza
7. Mohammad Ashraful
8. Mohammad Rafique
9. Mushfiqur Rahim (wicketkeeper)
10. Rajin Saleh
11. Saqibul Hasan
12. Shahadat Hossain
13. Syed Rasel
14. Tamim Iqbal
15. Tapash Baisya

Bangladesh in Zimbabwe 2007 : Tour Summary

Bangladesh just finished the tour with the first ever away series win against any test playing nation. After comfortably winning first match by 45 runs, Zimbabwe dominated the second ODI and leveled the series 1-1 with an impressive 8 wicket victory. Bangladesh managed to win the 3rd and 4th ODI with tense finish by 15 runs and 1 wickets respectively.

Now, here's my summary


1. First ever away series win against any test playing nation
2. Bangladesh found the long cherished capable Wicket Keeper batsman in Mushfiqur Rahim.
3. Captaincy of Habibul Bashar
4. Consistency of Sakib Al Hasan
5. Consistency of Razzak and Mashrafee as a bowler.

1. Failure of to prove maturity as a cricket team, chocking under pressure (in last ODI).
2. Inconsistent and brittle batting order.
3. Failure of Mohammad Ashraful in middle order.
4. Apparent failure of opening pair, in particular Mehrab Jr.
5. Another poor show by Tushar (he always fails to grab opportunity)
6. Poor show by Shahadat ahead of World Cup.
7. Tapash's consistency in giving away runs.
8. Injury of Mohammad Rafique
9. Failure of Md Sharif in both form and fitness.

New riddles

1. Is Tamim suitable for opening slot?
2. Has Ashraful lost his touch and should lose his place in the side
3. is there any justification to keep Tushar in the side
4. Who should be the 3rd pacer of the side.
5. What should be the batting order.
6. Why Shahadat is struggling in suitable wickets.


Bangladesh as a team gets B

Shahriar Nafees : B
Mehrab Jr. : D
Tamim Iqbal : C
Aftab Ahmed : B
Habibul Bashar : B+
Sakib Al Hasan : B+
Mohammad Ashraful : D
Mushfiqur Rahim : A
Mohammad Rafiq : B+
Abdur Razzak : B+
Mashrafee Mortaza : A-
Shahadat Hossain : D
Tapash Baisya : C
Mohammad Sharif : F
Tushar Imran : F

Women Cricket in Bangladesh : Start of a New Era

Bangladesh cricket has made another significant step in right direction by launching first ever National Women Cricket Championship. This is the first time in Bangladesh cricket history when women cricketers will play in any form of domestic cricket. While most of the women cricket team of other test playing nations are regularly playing test and one day series, Bangladesh do not have a national women cricket team. In previous years limited efforts were taken to build a national team but an international side has never represented Bangladesh before mainly because of a lack of interest from players and organizers.

Veteran cricket coach Altaf Hosaain is making a hard and solitary effort to promote women cricket in Bangladesh for the last few years. Bangladesh was invited in November 2005 to take part in the second Women’s Asia Cup and around 20 girl cricketers were selected for a camp under the supervision of coach Altaf Hossain. After a few weeks camp Bangladesh finally turned down the invitation fearing the team would not be competitive enough.

In cricket history, the first ever women cricket match was held in 1811 between two county side at London. Women's Test cricket has been played since December 1934. The International Women's Cricket Council was formed in 1958 to coordinate women's cricket which was officially integrated with International Cricket Council in 2005 after the eighth Women’s World Cup in South Africa which was won by Australia. . The following women cricket teams have been awarded test status by International Cricket Council -

Australia, England, India, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies

It's interesting to not that Ireland and Netherlands are women test playing nation while they are yet to gain test status in the men version.

Women One Day internationals are played since 1973 and first ever Women’s Cricket World Cup was held in 1973 in England in which they emerged as champion. In addition to the above mentioned teams, three other teams have been awarded one day status. They are

Denmark, Japan and Scotland

Only Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are tow test playing nations who do not play test or one day cricket in the women version of the game. Recently Zimbabwe's women won the Women's World Cup Qualifiers – Africa region, to reach ICC Women's Cricket World Cup Qualifying Tournament 2007 (WCWCQT) in Pakistan.

Bangladesh Cricket Board is expecting to form a national cricket team out of the top 30 performers of the maiden championship. Ten teams are participating in the opening tourney in two groups. Teams are -

Group A -- Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Ansar, Narayanganj. Group B -- Bhola, Rajshahi, Jahangirnagar University, Bogra, Rangamati.

Nothing much is known yet about the possible strengths and weakness of the teams. It is expected that Dhaka will be one of the title contender due to more accessibility to women cricket.

Amid huge enthusiasm the opening ceremony of the tournament was held at Mirpur Sher E Bangla National Stadium and the semifinals and final are scheduled on 3rd and 5th February respectively.

Now, the first step is already taken and it's very important to take the subsequent steps with proper planning. Environments must be created so that girls from every section of the society feel interest for the game and regular domestic cricket is played in every division if not in every districts. Bangladesh Krira Shikhka Protisthan (BKSP) should start a new discipline on women cricket to nurture young talents and make them quality cricketers. All public and private universities should start Inter-University Women Cricket Championship to promote women cricket in Bangladesh. As Bangladesh is not receiving any ICC grant to promote women cricket, BCB should create its own funding and encourage sponsors to come forward. Cricket is a passion for Bangladesh and it is expected that women cricket will be livelier due to inherent glamour involved in women version of any game.

Fundamental religious groups might try to hinder the prospect of women cricket in Bangladesh but that should be treated strongly as Pakistan, religiously more conservative country are playing women test cricket and has domestic tournaments.

We are keeping our finger crossed; we hail the initiatives of Bangladesh Cricket Board and expect Bangladesh Women Cricket team will make their mark in the international arena within shortest possible time.

Bangladesh Cricket : My Passion

Bangladesh is an emerging powerhouse of International cricket. After gaining test status in 2000, Bangladesh is progressing in every series they are playing. In 2006, they have won 18 out of 28 matches they played. In april 2006, Bangladesh almost made a history by taking 158 run first innings lead against mighty Australia in Fatullah test. Australia managed to win the match by 3 wickets.

I am a keen follower of Bangladesh cricket. Bangladesh is entering 2007 with a lot of promise and they have their performances to speak for them. For the first time in its cricketing history, it is the performance of the Bangladesh cricket team which is doing the talking for them and not the fans, administrators or the journalists. This is a definite leap in right direction for Bangladesh Cricket. Bangladesh is currently ranked 9th in ODI cricket and still 10th in Test cricket. Now, Bangladesh needs to plan her future carefully and follow this plan. Bangladesh has all the potential and performers to be ranked 7th-8th in ODI cricket and 8th-9th in Test cricket by the end of 2007.

In this blog, I will follow Bangladesh cricket. I will try to cover both the domestic and international cricket. I regularly write articles in different cricket forums. Those articles will be also posted here.