Bangladesh registered its first ever ODI win on home soil by defeating the mighty Indians by 15 runs. Bangladesh stunned India when Aftab knocked the bails off by a direct hit and Murali Kartik was well short. A jam packed stadium of over 40000 fans at the BNS suddenly errupt in joy at the historic event. Earlier, Bangladesh managed to score 229/9 in 50 overs. On reply, the world's second mightiest team, India could only manage to score 214 with more than two overs to spare. Bangladesh outplayed India in every department of the match with outstanding fielding, spirited bowling and determined batting. India was never been able to be in the hunt as their lifelines were cutoff regularly by the Tigers.
Today i watched Bangladesh play. No, in fact, and curiously my four 4 year old daughter sat on lap for the first time to watch a cricket match. And what a match to groom a future fan on. Bang with a win! I don't know how you would start someone on cricket but I had a go. My thoughts were, "Well as Bangladesh will eventually falter why not spend some quality time and share my favourite pastime with my fave person". To the utter joy of Bangladesh fans the script did'nt follow the usual turn of events. The finale was cemented after the mini conference between Sujon, Sumon, Rafique and Pilot. That was the turning point. Bangladesh decided and willed that this match was to be won. It certainly was an important lesson for the Bangladesh team; for a prospective new fan and above all for seasoned fans like me - to be rudely awakened by the power of mental will and its enduring power to transform.
Last night (EST) as the match started, I was confident, Bangladesh will win this match. But after Bashar was out, I gave up and went to bed. Had a strange dream, Bangladesh lost badly to Scotland. Woke up confused, aren�t we playing India? Turned the monitor on and I was in joy to see Agarkar had just been out: only 2 wickets to go for the historic win. My wife jumped up from sleep as I screamed, �Bangladesh is winning�.
As Whatmore has said repeatedly, Bangladesh needs 1-2 good innings to come out of the batch patch. Truly it was just one super innings, Ashraful's performance on the 2nd test that changed it all for us. The tigers have begun to believe in themselves. The team now plays to win. This win is one of the most important events in Bangladesh cricket history. On its 100th ODI Bangladesh made a huge turn towards becoming a respectable cricket nation.
This win was a total team work. Thanks to every member of this team, the coaching staff and the think tank for finally selecting a balanced team.
This has to be one of the best moments in my entire life. I was up late and saw the team crawl to 37 for 3 despite some earlier promise. I wanted to stay up and follow the whole match as I was afraid that we'd go back to our old scripted ways. However, my work and my computer had other ideas so I gave up on that. Also, I couldn't take any more defeat. Years of dissapointments and emty promises has left me with a very fragile heart. The only thing different last night was a promise of a balanced performance by Sumon and the team.
It's funny how I woke up and followed the match around the same time as Rajputro. India only needed 30 runs off of 30 balls with 2 wickets in hand. Highly doable and the way Sharma was playing, I thought we would be denied once more and found it hard to follow the match at the stage. I was getting ready for work and was merely glancing at the monitor every few seconds hoping to see a fall of wicket. All of a sudden, there was only one batsmen listed (Sharma) and my heart skipped a bit. "45.6: Khaled Mahmud to Khan, OUT: gone! Zaheer goes for the big one and finds Mashrafe Mortaza at wide long-on, who holds on well to a difficult chance, Bangladesh just one wicket away from making history! (cricinfo)". I will never call Chacha (Khaled Mahmud) mediocre again.
With one wicket in hand, India still needed 26 runs to win and I was still terrified. You see, you have been close before, who can forget the one wicket loss to Pakistan in that test match? At the same time, I noticed that Masri and Chacha both had overs in their hands and Nazmul did well with the ball. The moment came 11 balls and 10 runs later. With India only 16 runs away from a win Murali Kartik played Chacha's ball straight to Aftab at point and the wonder kid picked up the ball and with a direct hit at the stumps sealed a long awaited victory for millions of cricket loving Bangladeshi fans all over the world.
I am sorry that I ever doubted the teams commitment during the last 2/3 tours. The team played as a unit and did everything right to give us a memorable 100th ODI match.