Bangladesh. A cricket mad nation that has never really made huge waves on the world circuit. Until now; having beaten South Africa by nine wickets on Wednesday they secured their fourth consecutive ODI series win.
The victory wrapped up a 2-1 victory for the hosts up against the fourth highest ranked team in the world, and follows wins against Zimbabwe, Pakistan and India in recent times. Chandika Hathurusingha's side were emphatic, South Africa failed to score a total of over 170 at all in the series; testament to the much improved bowling attack. This is why the world ought to be weary of Bangladesh…
Results tell the tale
You need only look at the calibre of the sides they have beaten to realise that this is a side on the up. Granted, South Africa were missing their talismanic skipper AB de Villiers but beside from that they were at full strength, including the World Cup’s best spinner Imran Tahir and elegant opener Hashim Amla. India took a strong side too, to follow up on the disappointment of the World Cup.
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Despite this the bowling attack of Bangladesh was more than capable of keeping them under control, with all six bowlers looking useful and testing the Proteas: Shakib al Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Mahmudullah, Mashrafe Mortaza and Rubel Hossain all bowling excellently. The spin of Shakib and Mahmudullah, combined with the pace attack of the others, show how useful this side can be.
Batting: skill and power
Following on from a handy showing on the world stage in Australia and New Zealand earlier this year, the Greens have developed their side, and young opener Soumya Sarkar has come to the fore with scores of 90 and 88 not out this series.
Also, the ever-present Shakib is still the powerful force he always has been with willow in hand, demonstrating why he is ranked the world’s best all-rounder in all three formats of the game. In addition, ‘keeper batsman Mushfiqur Rahim continues to impress, having played in the national side for ten years now.
To the future
So, having made it to the quarter finals of the World Cup, at the expense of a woeful England, could Bangladesh build on that a mount a serious charge at the next World Cup?
The 2019 World Cup (in England) could be Shakib al Hasan’s last chance to make his mark on the international stage, but if their current rate of progress is maintained, the tigers could be set roar in four years’ time