Hosts Bangladesh pulled off a sensational victory against England in yesterday’s Group B Match at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong. Both sides blew hot and cold right through the entire match to make it a see-saw contest which was eventually won by Bangladesh due to a miraculous 58-run partnership for the unbroken 9th wicket between Mahmudullah (21* from 42 balls) and fast bowler Shafiul Islam (24* from 24 balls). While Mahmudullah kept his end safe, it was Shafiul Islam who helped Bangladesh get the timely boundaries to win the match with an over to spare. The Bangladeshi no.10 struck 4 fours and a six in an important cameo under pressure. It was only Bangladesh’s second victory over England in ODIs.
Bangladesh were chasing a modest target of 226 on a pitch that was getting easierfor batting and the bowlers struggling to grip the ball because of all the dew. The homeside was cruising along with a half century opening stand in less than 9 overs! England managed to claw back into the game through some magical bowling from Tim Bresnan and in particular Ajmal Shahzad who produced a few terrific leg cutters at good speeds. Shahzad picked up three wickets but had bowled out his 10 overs too soon for his Captain Strauss. When it really mattered, England were let down by James Anderson who spilled a few wides and gave away easy runs by drifting down the legside. Tim Bresnan tried his best at one end with 10-1-35-1 but the pressure was released at the opposite end in the final overs by the jaded Anderson.
Bangladesh’s chase was initially set up through a solid partnership of 82 for the 3rd wicket between opener Imrul Kayes (60 from 100 balls with 5 fours) and Skipper Shakib Al Hasan (32 from 58 balls with a four). Both the left handers threw their wickets though – first Kayes getting needlessly run out attempting a non-existent second run and then the Skipper Shakib dragging a sweep shot to a Graeme Swann off break from outside off onto his stumps with a dreadful inside edge.
Early on, England who were asked to bat first by Bangladesh after losing the toss were in deep trouble at 53 for 3 in the 17th over. Eoin Morgan who replaced the injured Kevin Pietersen (out of the World Cup due to hernia) entered the middle and made batting look so easy by using his feet at will. The other English batsmen who were playing within their crease were struggling to keep things moving. Morgan (63 from 72 balls with 8 fours) forged a beautiful recovery partnership of 109 with no.3 Jonathan Trott (67 from 99 balls with 2 fours). The turning point of the match was perhaps in the 39th over of the English innings when Imrul Kayes dived forward to catch a Morgan slog sweep.
Bangladesh came back strongly after conceding the century stand for the 4th wicket by bowling out England for 225 in 49.4 overs. All the six bowlers used by Bangladesh got amongst the wickets!