Saturday, 31 March 2007

Australia blow away Bangladesh by 10 wickets

Australia made light work to see off Bangladesh in their rain affected super eight encounter at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua. After restricting Bangladesh to 104-6 in 22 overs, Australia raced to the victory in just 13.5 overs without losing any wicket. Wet outfield caused by overnight rain forced a curtailed match of 22 overs a side.

In-form Aussie opener Matthew Hayden remained unbeaten on 47 runs and his opening partner Adam Gilchrist scored a fluent 59 runs in 44 balls in the 106 run partnership. Bangladesh wasted the only opportunity when young wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim misjudged an outside edge from Gilchrist of the bowling of Tapsh Baisya which went for a boundary.

Glenn McGrath led Australia to 10 wicket victory.

Glenn McGrath led Australia to 10 wicket victory © Cricinfo

Australia made a terrific reply and raced to 50 in just 6.4 overs, spinners reduced the run flow but failed to cause any damage in the Australian innings and they reached the target with more than 8 overs to spare.

Earlier, a disciplined bowling display from Australia led by Glenn McGrath restricted Bangladesh to a meager 104-6 in the stipulated 50 overs. McGrath took 3 wickets for 16 runs to reduce Bangladesh to 25-3 and Bangladesh never recovered from that position.

Bangladeshi top order batsmen played too many shots too early and that caused their downfall. Dashing opener Tamim Iqbal was first to go when he was deceived by a slower from Nathan Bracken. McGrath immediately removed Shahriar Nafees by a beautiful Yorker and Bangladesh lost the momentum required to post a competitive total.

Aftab Ahmed and Mohammad Ashraful played some beautiful shots but failed to carry on and went cheaply which effectively blown away the opportunity to crate any upset against Australia.

Habibul Bashar played a patient innings of 24 taking 43 balls which slowed Bangladesh progress remarkably. A 36 ball 25 from Saqibul Hasan and some late hitting from Mashrafe Mortaza lifted Bangladesh score to 104.

Nathan Bracken continued his impressive form in the tournament and picked 2 wickets for 20 runs, Shaun Tait who was the most expensive among Australian bowlers picked 1 wicket for 28 runs.

There were plenty of drama and uncertainty before the start of the match as overnight rain resulted in a wet outfield with a number of patchy areas. After an unscheduled delay of about 5 hours and six bouts of inspection the match was finally started at 14:30 local time (18:30 GMT) and was curtailed to 22 overs a side.

Two big quagmires on the boundary's edge were the main area of concern for umpires in every inspection. Poor ground management and lack of initiatives from WICB caused resulted in longer delay than expected.

First, the ?super sopper? broke down and then the grounds men lacked resources to make the field ready for play. Some ground staff even tried to soak water by jumping on pieces of sponges. The efforts were inadequate to say the least and as the sun was shining and there were good wind, the field was finally left to the nature?s will to dry up.

Fearless Bangladesh ready to face rampant Australia in Antigua

An intrepid Bangladesh begins their world cup super eight campaign against in-form Australia today at Sir Viv Richards Stadium in Antigua. Bangladesh team has shown no intention to succumb to the fear factor of facing raging Australia and are determined to pull off another surprise like they did in Cardiff in 2005.

Current holder Australia is back in its best after drubbing tournament favorites South Africa and West Indies in previous two matches. On the way to the record hattrick world cup crown they are aiming to brush Bangladesh aside while Bangladesh camp has shown a lot of character ahead of the clash and are ready to embrace the champions. Australia has scored over 300 runs in their last six ODI and they 83 run defeat they inflicted on South Africa is the lowest margin of their victory.

 Fearless Bangladesh ready to face rampant Australia.

Fearless Bangladesh ready to face rampant Australia © Cricinfo

After Australia captain challenged the oppositions to put them in after winning toss, Bangladesh captain Bashar vowed to follow their own game plan to interrupt winning trot of the Aussies. Bashar insisted that Bangladesh will make the life of the world champion's difficult to secure the win.

"We're not finished yet, it is not going to be easy; it will be very tough. But we believe it is not an impossible task. We had a good win against New Zealand, another against India - and we strongly believe that if we play well together on our day we can beat anyone" said Bashar in an interview with Prothom Alo, a Dhaka based daily.

The youthful Bangladesh wants to enjoy their game against the tournament favorites and feeling no pressure ahead of their toughest encounter of the tournament. Mohammad Ashraful, the hero of Cardiff win against Australia promised positive cricket on the field and Mashrafe Mortaza, the center point of Bangladeshi bowling vowed to unsettle the dominant Aussie top order to take the command. These optimisms can only show the part of the morale of Bangladesh team who qualified to the super eight after toppling India.

Australian captain Ricky Ponting rubbished speculations of a Cardiff replay and believes the cricket they are playing will be good enough to outperform Bangladesh. Australia in current form can easily demolish the young Bangladesh side but taking them lightly can turn into a costly affair as Bangladesh has already established them as the "Surprise Packet" of the tournament.

Australians are a bit concerned about the batting form of Michael Hussey and he may get a promotion in batting order in today's match. Bangladesh is most likely field the same team that played against India.

Australia (probable) Adam Gilchrist (wk), Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting (captain), Michael Clarke, Andrew Symonds, Mike Hussey, Shane Watson, Brad Hogg, Nathan Bracken, Glenn McGrath, Shaun Tait.

Bangladesh (probable) Shahriar Nafees, Tamim Iqbal, Saqibul Hasan, Aftab Ahmed, Habibul Bashar (captain), Mohammad Ashraful, Mushfiqur Rahim, Abdul Razzak, Mohammad Rafique, Mashrafee Mortaza, Syed Rasel.

Umpires - Aleem Dar (Pakistan), Billy Bowden (New Zealand).

Ponting Wary of Improved Bangladesh

Australian captain Ricky Ponting showed his awareness about the potential challenge from a youthful and improved Bangladesh in their super eight clash at Sir Viv Richards Stadium in Antigua on March 31.

Ponting admitted that Bangladesh has made a dramatic progress in their cricketing ability over the last couple of years and they can pose significant threat to major oppositions.

"Bangladesh has progressed quite dramatically, they could have almost won the first Test match over there (last year )", Ponting said recalling the memories of famous Fatullah test in Bangladesh.

According to Ponting the young Bangladesh side can only progress upwards from their current position and they are in the right direction under Dav Whatmore.

 Fans cheering Bangladesh win against Australia in Cardiff.

Fans cheering Bangladesh win against Australia in Cardiff. © Cricinfo

"You just have to look at some of the younger guys in their side now, and see how they played against India early on, they're definitely a nation on the way up, and they've got good, exciting young players. Dav Whatmore is doing a fantastic job with them," added Ponting while talking to AAP ahead of Bangladesh tie.

He particularly picked dashing opener Tamim Iqbal as one of the most aggressive player of Bangladesh side and Australians are analyzing his strengths and weaknesses to get him cheaply.

"The young left hander (Tamim Iqbal) who got 51 early on in the tournament looked particularly aggressive and we've got some footage."

Australians have a lot of knowledge about the young Tigers as two of their coaching staff worked with Bangladesh U-19 squad with current bunch of players. Australians are using their experience to find out tactics to tame the Tigers.

"(Centre of Excellence senior coach) Richard McInnes and (Australia strength and conditioning coach) Justin Cordy worked with a lot of the Bangladeshis when they were over there so we have a bit of information on them."

Bangladesh will be banking on the memories of toppling Australia in Cardiff in 2005 and after qualifying from group of death they are keen to progress further.

There are no injury worries in Bangladesh side and they have declared 12 men squad for the Aussie clash and included young exciting fast bowler Shahadat Hossain for the first time in the tournament.

Friday, 30 March 2007

Ponting Wary of Improved Bangladesh

Australian captain Ricky Ponting showed his awareness about the potential challenge from a youthful and improved Bangladesh in their super eight clash at Sir Viv Richards Stadium in Antigua on March 31.

Ponting admitted that Bangladesh has made a dramatic progress in their cricketing ability over the last couple of years and they can pose significant threat to major oppositions.

"Bangladesh has progressed quite dramatically, they could have almost won the first Test match over there (last year )", Ponting said recalling the memories of famous Fatullah test in Bangladesh.

According to Ponting the young Bangladesh side can only progress upwards from their current position and they are in the right direction under Dav Whatmore.

 Fans cheering Bangladesh win against Australia in Cardiff.

Fans cheering Bangladesh win against Australia in Cardiff. © Cricinfo

"You just have to look at some of the younger guys in their side now, and see how they played against India early on, they're definitely a nation on the way up, and they've got good, exciting young players. Dav Whatmore is doing a fantastic job with them," added Ponting while talking to AAP ahead of Bangladesh tie.

He particularly picked dashing opener Tamim Iqbal as one of the most aggressive player of Bangladesh side and Australians are analyzing his strengths and weaknesses to get him cheaply.

"The young left hander (Tamim Iqbal) who got 51 early on in the tournament looked particularly aggressive and we've got some footage."

Australians have a lot of knowledge about the young Tigers as two of their coaching staff worked with Bangladesh U-19 squad with current bunch of players. Australians are using their experience to find out tactics to tame the Tigers.

"(Centre of Excellence senior coach) Richard McInnes and (Australia strength and conditioning coach) Justin Cordy worked with a lot of the Bangladeshis when they were over there so we have a bit of information on them."

Bangladesh will be banking on the memories of toppling Australia in Cardiff in 2005 and after qualifying from group of death they are keen to progress further.

There are no injury worries in Bangladesh side and they have declared 12 men squad for the Aussie clash and included young exciting fast bowler Shahadat Hossain for the first time in the tournament.

Thursday, 29 March 2007

"Bangladesh ready for super eight challenge" - Bashar

Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar trashed negative talks about Bangladesh's qualification in the world cup super eight and want to prove their worth with some victories.

Bashar was upbeat ahead of the first super eight encounter against current champion Australia.

"Making the Super 8s is a significant step for improvement of Bangladesh cricket, we've played well to be here," said Bashar while talking to AP. "It's an exciting time for Bangladesh, we want to continue our good performance and are seeking to post some victories," Bashar added. "We're not here to make up the numbers."

 Bangladesh ready to face super eight challenge - Bashar

Bangladesh ready to face super eight challenge - Bashar © Cricinfo

Bangladesh captain also showed optimism about Bangladesh's chances in the super eight and is keen to silence the critics with performances on the field.

"There were people who doubted our ability and this is our chance to prove things," Bashar said.

According to Bashar, Bangladesh will be under less pressure in the super eight stage as they will have opportunities to learn from their mistakes to bounce back.

"The preliminary round was more of a knock out competition, we'd been out of the tournament had we lost both to India and Sri Lanka, but now we'll have six matches."

Bangladesh has reached Antigua where they will play their first two super eight matches against Australia and New Zealand. Bangladesh captain was happy to start super eight campaign in Antigua as they are already familiar with the island conditions. Bangladesh launched their world cup campaign playing a tri-series featuring Bermuda and Canada in Antigua.

"We're glad to be back in Antigua, where we won that tri-series," he said. "We like this venue, the boys are upbeat about the upcoming challenge."

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Chandana Spins Sri Lanka A To Victory

Sri Lanka A completed the clean sweep in the 2 match test series against Bangladesh A by winnings the 2nd Match by 101 runs at Colts Cricket Ground in Colombo today (Wednesday).

Bangladesh A succumbed to the Sri Lanka A slow bowlers as they shared all 10 wickets of the second innings and were all out for 239 runs in 84 overs.

It was Upul Chandana who put Sri Lanka in command after Bangladesh A started the final day confidently chasing a victory target of 341. Once part-timer Jehan Mubarak broke the 60 run opening partnership, Chandana ripped through the Bangladesh top order with 3 quick wickets and reduced them to 76-4 and Bangladesh never recovered from that position.

In the middle of the Bangladesh innings Nadif Chowdhury (75) and Mohammad Sharif (35) formed an 83 run partnership in a bid to save the match but Chandana struck again to remove Sharif to end any Bangladesh hope.

Jehan Mubarak and Rangana Herath shared the last four wickets as the Bangladesh tail could not provide sufficient resistance and lost last 3 wickets for 9 runs.

Upul Chandana was the pick of the Sri Lanka A attack and took 4 wickets for 67 runs, Rangana Herath and Jehan Mubark took 3 wickets each for 38 and 53 runs respectively.

The two teams will play a 3 match one day series which starts at the same venue on March 31, the last two limited-over games will take places at the P Sara Stadium also in the Sri Lankan capital on April 2 and 4.

Final Scores

Sri Lanka A: 395 (Michael Vandort 114, Jehan Mubarak 55, Kaushal Silva 75 ; Enamul Haque 6-106, Mohammad Sharif 2-36) and 184-6 dec (Jehan Mubarak 51, Kanchana Gunawardene 51; Mosharraf Hossain 5-69)

Bangladesh A: 239 (Mehrab Hossain 51, Tushar Imran 38, Mahmudullah 37*; Rangana Herath 5-45, Sujeewa Silva 2-44) and 239 (Nadif Chowdhury 75, Mohammad Sharif 35; Upul Chandana 4-67, Rangana Herath 3-38, Jehan Mubarak 3-53)

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Mosharraf Revives Bangladesh A In Colombo

After the magic of Enamul Haque Jr., another slow left arm bowler Mosharraf Hossain took 5 wickets in the Sri Lanka A second innings to revive Bangladesh A in the second test match at Colts Cricket ground in Colombo.

Bangladesh A need 325 runs on the final day of the test to square the series. Bangladesh A captain Tushar Imran showed optimism to finish the uphill task and end the series on a high.

Earlier, Bangladesh could only add 38 more runs to their overnight score of 201-7 and conceded a massive 156 run deficit. Sri Lankan test cap Rangana Herath grabbed 5 wickets for 45 runs.

Sri Lanka A declared their second innings on 184-6 setting 341 as the victory target for Bangladesh. Kanchana Gunawardene and Jehan Mubarak scored 51 runs each amid wicket feast of Mosharraf. He effectively slowed Sri Lanka A charge and bagged 5 wickets for 69 runs.

Bangladesh A opener Jahurul Islam (7) and Mehrab Hossain (6) negotiated the 7 oevrs left in the day. Bangladesh finished the day on 16-0 and still require 325 runs to win the test and level the series.

Sri Lanka A: 395 (Michael Vandort 114, Jehan Mubarak 55, Kaushal Silva 75 ; Enamul Haque 6-106, Mohammad Sharif 2-36) and 184-6 dec (Jehan Mubarak 51, Kanchana Gunawardene 51; Mosharraf Hossain 5-69)

Bangladesh A: 239 (Mehrab Hossain 51, Tushar Imran 38, Mahmudullah 37*; Rangana Herath 5-45, Sujeewa Silva 2-44) and 16-0 (Jahurul Islam 7* and Mehrab Hossain 6*)

"Bangladesh has the right combination" - Dav Whatmore

Bangladesh coach Dav Whatmore believes his Tigers can surprise the stronger teams in the super eight and has got bright future ahead. He expressed his satisfaction with the overall progress of the team leading to world cup and was in jubilant mood after Tigers world cup success. Bangladesh will be starting their second round campaign against Whatmore's home country Australia on 31 March at Antigua.

Before the start of the world cup, Whatmore termed his team as the "Surprise Packet" of the world cup and after defeating India and progressing to second round; Bangladesh is looking forward to make more surprises.

 Whatmore is happy with the progress of his boys.

Whatmore is happy with the progress of his boys © Cricinfo

"It's a terrific combination, young boys are enjoying their game and are keen to produce more surprises in the super eight", said Whatmore pointing out the exuberance and fearless nature of his youth brigade in an interview with AFP. "We've got a couple of more experienced players, but the vast majority of them are under 25, which is absolutely perfect for an emerging team like us", Whatmore added.

Whatmore was particularly happy that his boys are getting opportunity to prove their worth against the top teams of the world. "They now have an absolutely wonderful opportunity to play against seven of the world's best sides and they will grow enormously because of that experience. I understand that we are still ranked number nine in the world and have a long way to go before we are consistently challenging the big boys".

"But we've got the resources and talent to really progress and we will be going to the Super Eights to really enjoy ourselves. And from a personal point of view it's great to be in a position where your team is playing well and your methods are being validated," said Whatmore who was the mentor of Sri Lankan resurgence 1996 world cup.

Whatmore also showed his satisfaction with the approach of Bangladesh team in the crucial match against Bermuda which they won by 7 wickets despite some early wobbling.

"I thought the last game against Bermuda was an extremely difficult one and the boys did brilliantly to keep their focus," said Whatmore. "I know we were only chasing a small total [96], but the ball was doing all sorts of things out there in the first ten overs, and it took a very brave batting performance from the middle order to get us through", he added.

"They've never really been in that situation before, with so much on the line and with so much to lose. This is very significant for us. It's something we always believed we could do if we played to the best of our ability and had a little bit of luck".

Within the super eights, Bangladesh was the first team to arrive in the Caribbean to play a tri-series involving Bermuda and Canada at Antigua. Whatmore believes this early arrival helped Bangladesh to understand the Caribbean condition and was crucial for their group stage success.

Monday, 26 March 2007

Sri Lanka A On Top Despite Enamul Magic

Bangladesh A is fighting to reduce the first innings deficit in the second unofficial test match against Sri Lanka A at Colts Cricket Ground in Colombo. The tourists ended day 2 with a score of 201-7, still trailing by 194 runs.

Earlier, Bangladesh test cap Enamul Haque Jnr. took 6 wickets for 106 runs to restrict Sri Lanka A to 395 runs. The home side added 99 runs to their overnight score of 296-5 as Enamul picked up 4 of the 5 Sri Lanka A wickets to fall on day 2.

In reply, Bangladesh A started well but lost the momentum in the middle. After sharing a 69 run opening partnership Jahurul Islam (23) was first to go and his departure triggered a mini collapse in Bangladesh innings as they were reduced to 114-4. Captain Tushar Imran (37) and young all-rounder Mahmudullah (37*) restored some respectability to the Bangladesh A total. Mehrab Hossain top scored for Bangladesh with 51 runs. Sujeewa Silva, Rangana Herath and Upul Chandana took 2 wickets each for Sri Lanka A.

Earlier, Sri Lanka A started the day confidently as veteran Upul Chandana (43) and wicketkeeper Kaushal Silva (75) shared a 105 run partnership to put Sri Lanka A in the driving seat. After Enamul trapped Chandana in front of the stumps, Sri Lanka A innings lost the direction and lost last 5 wickets for 28 runs. Enamul wrapped up the innings as the last 3 Sri Lanka A wicket fell without troubling the scorers on 395.

Sri Lanka A: First innings 395 all out in 117 overs (Michael Vandort 114, Jehan Mubarak 55, Kaushal Silva 75 ; Enamul Haque 6-106, Mohammad Sharif 2-36).

Bangladesh A: First innings 201 -7 in 57 overs (Mehrab Hossain 51, Tushar Imran 38, Mahmudullah 37*; Sujeewa Silva 2-36, Rangana Herath 2-39, Upul Chandana 2-54)

Sunday, 25 March 2007

Bangladesh storm into "Super Eights"

Bangladesh cricket team stormed into the super 8 of ICC Cricket World Cup by defeating Bermuda by 7 wickets at Queens Park Oval in Trinidad. With this win Bangladesh joins Sri Lanka to Super 8 and eliminates pre-tournament favorite India from the World Cup.

Bangladesh Cricket has reached a new height today as they reached the second round of World Cup for the first time in history. This is the biggest ever success for Bangladesh Cricket.

This historic win came as the Independence Day gift for 150 million Bangladeshis.

Chasing a revised target of 96 for victory in 21 overs, Bangladesh did not start well as opening bowler Saleem Mukaddem ripped through the Bangladesh top order and reduced Bangladesh to 37 for 3. He bowled with good line and got tremendous assistance from the wicket. Runs were hard to come and some indiscipline bowling from the other end kept the score board ticking.

Bangladesh storms into the super 8.

Bangladesh storms into the super 8 © Cricinfo

Bangladesh batsmen kept their nerve and an unbeaten 59 run fourth wicket partnership between Mohammad Ashraful and Sakib Al Hasan guided Bangladesh to victory in 17.3 overs. Mohammad Ashraful top scored with 29 runs in 32 balls and Sakib Al Hasan was equally prolific in his 35 ball 26.

The match was not that easy for Tigers as the scoreboard is suggesting. After quick loss of 3 wickets Bangladesh were under immense pressure as ball was moving around and Bangladeshi batsmen were struggling to score runs. The arrival of Mohammad Ashraful changed the scenario as he efficiently found the gap and formed the useful partnership with Sakib Al Hasan. The pair finally guided Bangladesh home with 3.3 overs to spare. Mohammad Ashraful was adjudged Man of the Match for his assured 26 run.

Saleem Mukaddem of Bermuda took all the 3 wickets fell and finished with an impressive figure of 3 for 19 in 5 overs.

Earlier, rain dominated the proceedings of the crucial group B tie between Bangladesh and Bermuda at Queens Park Oval. Bangladesh restricted Bermuda to 94 for 9 in the rescheduled 21 over match and requires 95 runs in 21 overs to reach super 8.

It was more than drama in Trinidad today as players were on and off the field at natures will and finally rain allowed the match to resume after 4 unscheduled rain breaks. The start of the match was delayed by one and half hour due to morning shower.

Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar won the toss and decided to field first. Bangladesh got the desired result in the 5th ball of the match when paceman Mashrafe Mortaza removed Outerbridge for 0. After the first rain break, both Bangladesh opening bowler took one wicket each to put Bangladesh in firm command of the match.

After another painstaking rain delay of another 1 hour, play resumed and the match was initially curtailed to 30 overs a side. Rain again interrupted play at 15.1 overs when Bermuda was 45 for 4. Play remained stopped for another 2 and half hour and the match restarted as a 21 overs affair.

Bermuda had only 5.5 overs play left after the resumption of play. Wickets fell regularly but Bermuda have utilized the opportunity with some brief but effective hitting from DA Minors and Lionel Cann to lift themselves to 94/9 utilizing full 21 overs. Cann took only 6 balls to make 16 with 2 fours and one six.

A poor over from part-timer Aftab Ahmed which costed 17 runs boosted Bermuda innings

Abdur Razzak was the pick of the Bangladeshi bowler. He took 3 wickets for 20 runs in his 4 overs. Saqibul Hasan and Mashrafe Mortaza took 2 wickets each for 8 and 12 runs respectively.

Saturday, 24 March 2007

"Bangladesh is taking nothing for granted" - Bashar

Bangladesh camp is much relieved after Sri Lanka trounced India by 69 runs to revive Tigers world cup dream. Now they face a relatively straightforward task of beating Bermuda in their last group match to reach the main stage of the gala event.

Bangladesh Captain Habibul Bashar showed cautious optimism about his side's progress to the super 8 but is not taking super 8 berth for granted while talking to TigerCricket, official site of Bangladesh Cricket Board.

"Bangladesh came to the world cup with the target of reaching super 8. We had our game plan which worked against India. Now after India's loss to Sri Lanka we have a genuine chance of reaching our target", said Bashar.

He also showed his relief due to the outcome of India-Sri Lanka match. "I have to say we are a little relieved because if India had won, then there would not have been any realistic chance of us progressing."

Bangladesh camp closely followed the proceedings of yesterdays match during their training session. After the scheduled session, they went to the Queens Park Oval to watch the action live. Bangladesh team including Coach Dav Whatmore appeared much reassured during the live broadcast after watching India's tame surrender to Sri Lanka

Bangladesh is on the verge of realizing their world cup dream.

Bangladesh is on the verge of realizing their world cup dream. © Cricinfo

Both India and Sri Lanka created world cup records to brush aside Bermuda in their group B encounters and Bangladesh also outplayed them in recently concluded ICC tri series. But Bashar admitted that this time his side will be under pressure to face Bermuda.

"I'd be lying if I said that there is no pressure on us. Off course there will be pressure because a win would get us into the Super Eight of the World Cup. That is why I will sit with the players today to discuss our mental preparation for the match. For us the Bermuda match will be more of a mental test than a skill related one."

"On the other hand, Bermuda has nothing to lose and they will try to finish the world cup with a high", Bashar added.

Bangladesh Captain is relying on the exuberance of his youth brigade to outshine Bermuda. He is also pleased with the attitude of the young tigers despite suffering massive defeat in their last match against Sri Lanka.

"What pleases me though is the fact that the boys badly want to play in the Super Eight. After losing to Sri Lanka, they were really tensed. After India's loss to Sri Lanka, they are keen to make super 8 a reality."

Bashar urged a spirited performance from his young guns in the next game against Bermuda. "We still have a job to do. We are not thinking about the Super Eight yet. We need a committed and spirited performance against Bermuda and that is our main focus. We are taking one game at a time," Bashar added.

Bangladesh camp is a bit concerned about the fitness of left arm spinner Abdur Razzak who developed a minor groin problem during Sri Lanka clash.

Bangladesh will play Bermuda in the last match of the group stage on 25 March at Queens Park oval

Ruthless Lions revive Tigers world cup dream

Sri Lanka showed another clinical display on the field to see off media favorite India and stormed into the super 8 of the ICC cricket world cup. Sri Lanka crushed India's super 8 dreams by defeating them by 69 runs.

Sri Lanka's convincing win over India revived Bangladesh's super 8 dream and they just need to win the match against Bermuda to reach the second round of the world cup. Considering the form of the two teams it should not take much effort from Bangladesh to defeat Bermuda.

This loss will be come hard to billions of Indian fans as before the tournament they were highly tipped as one of the favorites to lift the cup. India's demise started from the first match of the tournament when a below par performance resulted in an unexpected 5 wicket loss to Bangladesh. India?s departure will also mean huge loss to the sponsors and television companies as India is the main revenue earning ground for cricket.

Rampant Lions revive Tigers world cup dream.

Ruthless Lions revive Tigers world cup dream © Cricinfo

Sri Lanka was completely dominant in todays match and never allowed India to play their normal game. They batted well, fielding was extra ordinary and Indians had no answer to their controlled bu aggressive bowling attack.

Chasing a victory target of 255 to win, India started well but once they lost Uthappa, India started to derail. Chaminda Vaas took an outstanding catch of his own bowling to dismiss Uthappa. India lost wickets regularly and was never on the track since then. former Captains Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar failed to rise to the occasion fell cheaply for 7 and 0 respectively. In the middle Sehwag and captain Rahul dravid tried to resist the Sri Lankan dominance but Sehwag eventually fell to a brilliant Murali doosra. When Murali trapped Dhoni for a golden duck, 255 looked completely out of reach for India.

 Indians had no answer to the Murali magic.

Muralitharan led the hunt for Sri Lanka. © Cricinfo

Indian Captain Rahul Dravid tried his best to steady to the innings but found no one to give him company. At the end he desperately tried to keep the tempo with the ever increasing run rate and took 17 runs from Malinga's eighth over. He had to play his shots to have any chance in the match and that eventually caused his down fall. After getting a life courtesy of Arnold, he fell in the next delivery when he tried to clear the in field. Muttiah Muralitharan took a superb catch covering a lot of ground.

After Dravid's departure Harbhajan Singh made an desperate attempt with a 20 ball 17 but that could only reduce the margin of the defeat. Finally India got bundled out for 180 in 42.1 overs.

Muralitharan was pick of Sri Lankan bowling attack and bowled brilliantly to take 3 wickets for 36 runs. Another veteran Chaminda Vaas removed both the Indian openers and finished with 2 for 39. Malinga, Fernando and Jayasuriya took one wicket each in a aggressive bowling display from Sri Lanka.

Earlier, Indian captain Rahul Dravid won the toss and decided to field first. In a seaming wicket Indian bowlers bowled with aggression and accuracy and restricted Sri Lanka's run flow. Jayasuriya fell cheaply in the deep of Zaheer Khan?s bowling but Tharanga kept his cool and rotated strikes nicely to keep the scoreboard ticking. He formed useful partnerships with Sangakkara to reach his 50. After his departure two brilliant innings from Tilakaratne Dilshan and young Chamara Sillva steadied Sri Lankan innings in the middle. Some late hitting from Chaminda Vaas took Sri Lanka's total to a commanding 254. Zaheer Khan was the most successful Indian bowler ended with a figure of 2 for 49. Agarkar, Patel, ganguly and Tendulkar chipped in with 1 wicket each.

Sonargaon Moves Into Independence Cup Cricket Final

24 March 2007
Sonargaon Cricketers continued their winning streak and reached into the final of the Independence Cup Cricket Tournament. After drubbing Mohammedan Sporting by 58 runs in the tournament opener, they comfortably defeated Victoria Sporting Club by 22 runs at Dhanmondi Cricket Ground.

After winning toss, Sonargaon Captain Al Shahriar decided to bat first and young guns Marhsall Ayub and Arafat sunny hammered half centuries to lift Sonargaon to a challenging total of 248-9 in 50 overs.

Marshall Ayub made a prolific 78 ball 67 and Arafat sunny took 63 balls to reach his fifty. Captain Al Shahriar made a polished 48 to maintain Sonargaon’s dominance. Sabbir Khan of Victoria took 3 wickets for 54 runs.

In reply, Victoria Sporting had no answer to the bowling of former test player Fahim Muntasir who took four wickets for 24 runs and restricted Victoria to 226 in 46.5 overs.

Nazmul Hossain topscored with 50, while Gazi Salahuddin and Shahnewaz Kabir contributed 42 and 43 runs respectively but could not prevent the loss as Victoria fell 22 runs short from victory target.

The winner between Mohammedan and Victoria will meet Sonargaon in the March 26 final.

Brief Scores
Sonargaon Cricketers : 248-9 in 50 overs (Al-Shahriar 48, Elias Sunny 51, Marshall Ayub 67; Sabbir Khan 3-54).

Victoria: 226 all out in 46.5 overs (Gazi Salahuddin 42, Nazmul Hossain 50, Shahnewaz Kabir 43; Fahim Muntasir 4-24, Marshall Ayub 2-20).

Independence Cup Cricket Gets Underway

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has organized the Independence Cup Cricket Tournament to mark the 36th year of independence from Pakistan.

In the opening match last year’s Premier League runner up Sonargaon Cricketers comfortably defeated giant Mohammedan Sporting Club by 58 runs at Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium.

In the absence of leading cricketers of the country, on national duty in the World Cup and touring Sri Lanka with the A team, both the Premiership sides relied on guest players from other Premier league clubs.

After winning the toss Sonargaon Captain Al Shahriar opted to bat first and posted a fighting total of 236 all out in 49.1 overs with opener Hannan Sarkar top scoring with 64 off 68 balls slamming nine fours and one six. Former national all-rounder Alok Kapali and young wicketkeeper Dhiman Ghosh provided useful company in the middle. Dhiman’s 43 ball 44 proved crucial to lift the score above 200.

Farhad Reza, Nabil Samad and Rezaul Islam shared two wickets each for Mohammedan Sporting.

In reply, Mohammedan lost wickets at regular intervals and was eventually bundled out for 184 in 44.2 overs. Sharif Ullah was the top scorer for Mohammedan with 34 runs and Farhad Reza and Ehsanul Haque each scored 32 runs to reduce the margin of defeat. 7 bowlers were utilized by Sonargaon captain Al Shahriar and all chipped in with wickets. Mohammad Azim and Elias Sunny grabbed 2 wickets each while others joined the party with one wicket each.

Victoria Sporting Club is the other team involved in the three-team competition.

Sonargaon Cricketers: 236 all out in 49.1 overs (Hannan Sarkar 64, Dhiman Ghosh 44 , Alok Kapali 25, Manjurul Islam 2-37, Farhad Reza 2-30, Nabil Samad 2-46, Rezaul Islam 2-40).

Mohammedan Sporting Club: 184 all out in 44.2 overs (Rashedul Islam 22, Farhad Reza 32, Ehsanul Haque 32, Sharif Ullah 34, Mohammad Azim 2-32, Elias Sunny 2-28).

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Tigers aiming to tame Lions

After stunning the world cricket by a professional performance against India in the world cup opening match, Tigers are now preparing themselves to repeat similar performance to outshine Sri Lanka.

The confidence is running high in the Bangladesh camp and they are eager to continue the momentum they achieved after arriving in the Caribbean. Since their arrival, Bangladesh have won all the matches they played which includes two memorable wins against title contenders New Zealand and India.

Tigers first match against India was a testing ground for them who weren't playing top teams for about a year. After showing their might against the star-studded India, Bangladeshi think tank is optimistic to outperform Sri Lanka and take the revenge of their World Cup 2003 loss against the Islanders.

Bangladesh came to the Caribbean with the aim to achieve a second round berth and after defeating India, the possibility of progressing to the second round is very bright. Now a win against Sri Lanka can seal the deal and make the India - Sri Lanka tie on March 23 as the do or die clash.

Bangladesh coach Dav Whatmore is keen to ensure the second round berth before the final match against Bermuda, as net run rate can be a crucial factor if Tigers fail to beat Sri Lanka.

After a full day rest on Sunday, Tigers returned to their training on Monday and relished every bit of their success during the training session. The boys looked sharp on the field and they enjoyed their practice in the centre wicket of the Queens Park Oval.

 Tigers aim to tame Lions.

Tigers aiming to tame Lions. © Cricinfo

Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar showed his optimism but was aware of the situation before facing the Sri Lankan Lions.

"We are concentrating on one game at a time. We had certain advantages against India as they have not played us for a while but that's not the case against Sri Lanka. We played Sri Lanka in the last year at home and also in the Champions trophy", said Bashar.

"We are playing good cricket, every member of the team is contributing and are in a positive frame of mind. We want to win the match to ensure our second round place. We have defeated them before and are optimistic to repeat the performance", added a smiling Bashar.

Bangladesh team is basking in media lime light after outplaying India in their tournament opener. Coach Dav Whatmore believes this will create a positive impact in the performance of the Tigers on the field.

"The boys are enjoying their success, they have earned the attention they are receiving from the media. After defeating India, they are no longer afraid of any names. It is important to keep that belief and continue the winning momentum," said Whatmore.

Meanwhile, more Bangladeshi fans are arriving in Trinidad every day to follow Tigers dream world cup mission. The first destination for the die-hard supporters is Trinidad Hilton where the Tigers are staying.

Bangladesh team has no reported injury problem and is expected to play the same team that won their first match against India.

Monday, 19 March 2007

Sri Lanka A Take Command Against Bangladesh A

Sri Lanka A dominated the proceedings of the first unofficial test against Bangladesh A at the Colts Cricket Club Ground in Colombo on Monday.

Sri Lanka A captain Thilan Samaraweera and Malinda Warnapura placed Sri Lanka A in a commanding position after scoring magnificent centuries.

The hosts posted 335-2 at close of play with Samaraweera finishing on 129 having received perfect company in Warnapura who remained unbeaten on 177.

Bangladesh A won the toss and asked Sri Lanka A to bat. The tourists got off to a bright start when paceman Nazmul Hossain dismissed openers Michael Vandort (10) and Mahela Udawatte (5) with 22 runs on board.

However, 30-year old Samaraweera, a veteran of 39 Tests and 17 ODIs, and Warnapura dominated the Bangladeshi bowling and prevented any further loss of wickets.

The two added 313 runs for the unbroken third wicket with Samaraweera smashing ten fours in 232 balls while 27-year old left-hander Warnapura was the more aggressive partner as he smashed 21 boundaries in his 291 balls innings.

Sri Lanka A 335/2 (90 overs): Vandort 10, Udawatte 5, Warnapura 177*, Samaraweera 129*; Nazmul 2/57

Sunday, 18 March 2007

Aftermath of historic win: Tigers are keeping feet on the ground

Bangladesh camp was in jubilant mood after the historic win against India in their world cup opener at Queens Park Oval, but they refused to get carried away with the win. The tigers are aiming to take one match at a time to fulfill their world cup target which is a second round berth.

After Mushfiqur Rahim hit the winning run in the famous victory, the Tigers enjoyed every minute of the triumphant victory. Everyone was on their toes jumping, singing and shouting. Sources close to Tigers reveal that, they were confident of this win long before the match started in Trinidad. This only shows the confidence level of Bangladesh after defeating former world champions.

Tigers are keeping their feet on the ground after historic win.

Tigers are keeping their feet on the ground after historic win. © Cricinfo

The wonder boy Mushfiqur Rahim said "I hope, this is the last time media uses the word 'minnow' for Bangladesh" the post match presentation, The tone of the dressing room was nothing different.

According to captain Habibul Bashar, Tigers early arrival in the Caribbean and in particular the tri-seris at Antigua gave them a much needed edge over India.

"We have adjusted to the wickets here and know exactly what to expect. We were the first team to arrive in the Caribbean and the warm-ups in Antigua and Barbados have certainly helped," said Bashar.

The confidence of Bangladesh team was echoed by vice-captain Shahriar Nafees who is one of the key figures of Tigers recent success.

"The pressure is on them but we don?t really care. In fact most of the boys do not even bother about reputation of the opponents. This is not something enforced; it has come from within,"

 Manjural Islam Rana was remembered in Tigers win.

Manjural Islam Rana was remembered in Tigers win © CricketWorld

"The boys were walking tall, enjoying tall and training tall", he added.

The memory of Manjural Islam Rana was all over the place in the victory celebration of the Tigers.

Man of the match Mashrafe Mortaza recalled the memory of friend Late Manjural Islam and said "This one's for (Manjural) Rana" and "(Manjural) Rana's death have shattered us but we were keen to win the match for Rana". "He was my best friend. I dedicate today's man of the match award to (Manjural) Rana,"

"(Manjural) Rana would have been so proud. I'm sure he's watching us from above," said Bashar who admitted that he had difficulty sleeping the night before the match as Rana's face kept appearing in his thoughts.

The young Tamim Iqbal who was a revelation against India was in top mood after his heroics.

"I just forgot that I had been hit. I don't think I could have continued for long if I had let that thought get to me. It was a good ball and that's about it," said Tamim.

When asked about his on-field bust up with Munaf Patel, Tamim promptly replied "He (Munaf Patel) said something and I told him some things too,"

The Tigers enjoyed a rest day on Sunday and only went for a light swimming session. Tigers will face Sri Lanka in their next match on March 21.

"It is a great victory for Bangladesh cricket" - Bashar

Bangladesh Captain Habibul Bashar termed yesterday's historic win against India as a great victory for Bangladesh Cricket. He was understandably very happy with the way the Tigers brought down India with a superior display in all departments of the game.

"It is a memorable day. The boys have done a very good job today. It was difficult to know what to do so it was a good toss to lose. I think we would have had a bowl first anyway because we always thought it would do something in the first overs", Bashar said in the post match presentation.

Bangladesh restricted star-studded Indian batting line up to a modest 191 with a much disciplined one day bowling which was equally supported by agile fielding by the young Tigers. He had all sorts of praise for his bowlers -

Mushfiqur Rahim and Mohammad Ashraful bask in the glory of the victory.

Mushfiqur Rahim and Mohammad Ashraful bask in the glory of the victory. ©Cricinfo

"I was very happy with how we bowled. Because we only have two seamers we knew we had to get a breakthrough with the new ball and they did that. Mushrafe (Mortaza) did a great job, as did Syed Rasel. After that the spinners came to the party and did a terrific job as well".

Three young Tigers with an average age of 18 led the Bangladesh reply in batting and Bashar acknowledged their invaluable contribution which ensured Bangladesh win.

"When you are playing a team like India you always have to work hard for it. So in all I was delighted with how we batted. Tamim Iqbal got us off to a great start and after that Mushfiqur Rahim and Saqib al Hasan took it up and made sure we won the match", said Bashar who could not hide his enjoyment with this emphatic win.

Jubilant Tigers enjoying moments of glory.

Jubilant Tigers enjoying moments of glory. ©Cricinfo

However Bashar was not overjoyed by the situation, he was very clear about the ultimate goal of Bangladesh team which is a second round berth.

"This is a World Cup victory and it is great for us. It gives us a real chance of qualifying for the Super Eight stage. I think it is a great victory for Bangladesh."

Bashar eventually dedicated the win to Manjural Islam Rana who was killed in a tragic road accident on March 16.

Saturday, 17 March 2007

Bangladesh declares emergence crushing Indian hopes by 5 wickets

Bangladesh made history today by defeating pre-tournament favorite India by 5 wickets in their world cup opener in Queens Park Oval, Trinidad.

Bangladesh bowled out India's star studded batting line up to a modest 191 on a good batting pitch which at the end proved inadequate to restrict Bangladesh, the emerging powerhouse of cricket world. Bangladesh romped to the victory by 5 wickets with 9 balls to spare.

 Bangladesh stun India by 5 wickets.

Bangladesh stun India by 5 wickets. ©Cricinfo

Bangladesh made the perfect start to overcome Indian challenge when left-handed rookie opener Tamim Iqbal, three days short of his 18th birthday, smashed a 53 ball 51 with 7 boundaries and 2 sixes. He showed brilliant maturity with aggressiveness and balls started to disappear all over the park.

After his departure fellow left hander Sakib Al Hasan (53 of 86 balls) took the charge and formed a match deciding 84 run partnership with wicket keeper Batsman Mushfiqur Rahim (56* of 107 balls). Indian bowling had almost no answer to their calm and assuring batting. Mushfiqur Rahim was promoted to the batting order after early departure of opener Shahriar Nafees and he steered the Tigesr home through scoring the winning run.

With this win, Bangladesh made a significant progress to reach the second round of world cup while India faces a stern challenge to qualify. They must win the remaining two matches against group mate Sri Lanka and Bermuda to remain alive in the tournament.

Bangladesh made Indian batting and bowling ordinary and outperformed India in every discipline of the game.

None of Indian bowlers except Munaf Patel posed any threat to Bangladeshi young batting line up. Munaf removed danger man Tamim and Aftab Ahmed. Patel finished the game with a figure of 39-2. Lately Sehwag chipped in with couple of wickets but it was too late for the Indians.

Bangladesh dedicated this win to fellow Tiger, Manjural Islam Rana who was killed in a tragic road accident on 16 March.

Earlier, Bangladesh restricted India to 191 in their opening match of world cup in Trinidad. Indian long and experienced batting line up had almost no answer to an aggressive and disciplined bowling display from Bangladesh.

Only former captain Sourav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh showed some resistance and scored 66 and 47 respectively to add some respectability to the total. India was all out in 49.3 over. Indian Captain Rahul Dravid won the toss and decided to bat first. Bangladesh took no time to prove the decision wrong when their opening bowler Mashrafee Mortaza removed out of form Sehwag in his second over and in form Robin Uthappa to reduce India to 21-2 in 6.4 overs. Experienced Sachin Tendulkar tried to repair the Indian innings with former Captain Sourav Ganguly. But scoring runs looked one of the most difficult job in the world.

Bangladesh kept the pressure on India with tight bowling and equally inspiring fielding. When Razzak in his first over removed Sachin, Indian hope of making big score looked a far cry. Captain Rahul Dravid tried to steady the Indian innings with a 32 run partnership but eventually fell to Mohammad Rafiq who trapped him LBW in his very first over. In-form Yuvraj joined with Ganguly, they played with caution and posted a vital 85 run partnership in the middle. Once Razzak removed Yuvraj, Indian innings disintegrated immediately. Ganguly was next to follow and then Rafiq and Razzak caused the havoc in the Indian innings as they lost 5 wickets scoring only 2 runs. At one point India was struggling at 159/9 but a 32 run partnership in the last wicket frustrated Bangladesh and add some valuable runs to Indian total.

For Bangladesh, Mashrafee Mortaza was the pick of bowlers with a figure of 4 for 38, Slow left arm spinner duo, Abdur Razzak and Mohammad Rafiq shared the rest 6 wickets with figures of 3-38 and 3-36 respectively.

Bangladesh plays their next match on 21 March against Sri Lanka while India will take on Bermuda on 19 March.

Friday, 16 March 2007

Bangladesh Dedicates World Cup Mission To Manjural

Bangladesh team received the news of the sad demise of fellow Tiger 'Manjural Islam Rana' at their team hotel at Port of Spain. The team was in shock to hear the loss of a close friend who was very popular among his team mates.

In a team meeting they decided to dedicate their world cup mission to Manjural.

"If we do something good in this World Cup we will dedicate that to (Manjural) Rana," said skipper Habibul Bashar.

He also paid tribute to Manjural’s eternal soul, "It is terribly distressing news and we don’t have words to express our shock and grief. The players are absolutely stunned. Our heart goes out to Rana’s family and may the Almighty grant his soul eternal peace".

Bashar also expressed his grief at the sad demise of Setu who was on the back seat of the same motorbike Rana was riding.

"It is a great loss for our cricket. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to Setu’s young family," he added.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh have selected rookie opener Tamim Iqbal for tomorrow’s vital clash against India. They have declared a 12 man squad leaving out veteran opener Javed Omer, batsman Rajin Saleh and fast bowler Shahadat Hossain Rajib. The final playing XI will be selected after seeing the wicket tomorrow.

Bangladesh squad

Habibul Bashar (Captain), Shahriar Nafees Ahmed (VC), Tamim Iqbal Khan, Aftab Ahmed, Shakib Al Hasan, Mohammad Ashraful, Mushfiqur Rahim (WK), Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Mohammed Rafique, Abdur Razzak, Syed Rasel, Tapash Baishya.

© Khondaker Mirazur Rahman

Whatmore: Bangladesh Poised to Face India Challenge

Bangladesh coach Dav Whatmore has played down speculation that Bangladesh will be under pressure when facing India in their opening World Cup encounter on 17th March at Port of Spain.

Whatmore believes that his boys are aware about the “off the field” luminary status of the opponents but are equals on the field.

"I hope our guys are not influenced by the superstar status of Indian cricketers. Maybe off the field, but I would be very upset if it is on the field," said Whatmore who turned 53 today.

A win against India will definitely be his dream birthday gift from his Tigers.

"Once you walk on to the ground, we are equals. We would be looking to keep our focus despite who the person is, after all he too has got two arms and legs." Whatmore admitted that India is still favorite for the clash and his side will play as the underdog but he talked down the discussions about the minnow status of Bangladesh.

"I would like to know what minnows stand for in the Oxford Dictionary. We have beaten better ranked teams but yes they are all rated above us. India is just one of them. We have to contend with that and India is the first one." He added.

Whatmore preferred the term “surprise packets" to describe the young Tigers. Bangladesh’s group B tie with India will be their 150th one-day international.

© Khondaker Mirazur Rahman

Bangladesh Mourns Loss Of Manjural Islam Rana

Bangladesh left arm spinner Manjarul Islam Rana died in a road accident near his hometown of Khulna on Friday. Manjarul, 23, died instantly on the Baliakhali bridge in Dumuria Upazila, 18 km from the divisional headquarters Khulna.

His Khulna team mate Sajjadul Hasan Setu was also killed in the same accident. Manjarul returned to Khulna yesterday after the final round tie of the National Cricket League against Dhaka.

Manjural played six tests and 25 one-day internationals for Bangladesh. He made his ODI debut against England at Chittagong in November 2003 and test debut at Harare in February 2004. He last played for Bangladesh on 25 March 2006 in the 4th ODI against Kenya.

Manjural was the only Bangladeshi bowler to claim a wicket in his first international over. In recent years, Manjural turned into a fine all-round player and was the leading performer of the recently concluded National Cricket League. He was considered as a bright prospect for Bangladesh cricket and was highly tipped to be as the replacement of veteran Mohammad Rafiq after his retirement from the one day cricket.

Sajjadul Hasan played 50 first class matches for Khulna and scored 2443 runs.

The Bangladesh national team will wear a black band to mourn the incident in their World Cup match against India tomorrow.

© Khondaker Mirazur Rahman

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

National Cricket League One Day Competition

The Bangladesh Cricket Board have announced the itinerary of the National Cricket League one day (list A) competition. The List A competition will start on 27th March in 3 different venues and the final round will be played on 4th April. In the opening day current holder Rajshahi hosts Khulna, Dhaka hosts Barisal and Chittagong will travel to Sylhet. Six divisional teams will play with each other in a single league. The team with the highest points after the final round will be the winner.

Itinerary of the one-day competition of the Ispahani Mirazapore Tea 8th National Cricket League 2006-2007:

Date Team VS Team Venue

27/03/07 Rajshahi Division vs Khulna Division NOS
27/03/07 Dhaka Division vs Barisal Division DCS
27/03/07 Chittagong Division vs Sylhet Division BKSP
29/03/07 Rajshahi Division vs Barisal Division BKSP
29/03/07 Dhaka Division vs Sylhet Division NOS
29/03/07 Chittagong Division vs Khulna Division DCS
31/03/07 Rajshahi Division vs Sylhet Division NOS
31/03/07 Dhaka Division vs Chittagong Division BKSP
31/03/07 Barisal Division vs Khulna Division DCS
02/04/07 Rajshahi Division vs Chittagong Division NOS
02/04/07 Dhaka Division vs Khulna Division DCS
02/04/07 Sylhet Division vs Barisal Division BKSP
04/04/07 Rajshahi Division vs Dhaka Division DCS
04/04/07 Chittagong Division vs Barisal Division NOS
04/04/07 Sylhet Division vs Khulna Division BKSP

DCS: Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium, Dhaka
NOS: Narayangonj Osmani Stadium, Fatullah
BKSP: Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

"Hard Work Of Whatmore Is Paying The Dividend" - Bashar

gladesh's recent turn around in world Cricket. According to Bashar, their coach Dave Whatmore has changed the overall approach of Bangladesh team and transformed his side into a winning outfit.

"Whatmore has helped our players realise that the importance of hard work. They have been told what role to play. He has given us the confidence to beat strong teams and we have been doing it," he said.

He was very clear about his goal and said "Our performances in the warm-up matches have been encouraging. If we play good cricket we will keep on winning. No one should take us lightly anymore. Our target is to play second round"

Bangladesh's opening game in the World Cup will be their 150th one-day international. Tigers are keen to celebrate the land mark with the same result they obtained in their 100th one-day international against the same opposition in December 2004.

National Cricket League Title Race in Balance

The tenth and final round of national cricket league started today (Monday). After the 9th round Rajshahi and Dhaka are jointly leading the table with 36 points.

Current holder Rajshahi in a bid to retain the title are facing third placed Chittagong in the away match. Meanwhile, Dhaka has a home tie with the bottom placed Khulna at Fatullah Stadium.

The other last round match between Barisal and Sylhet will start on March 17 at the neutral venue Fatullah Stadium.

In the opening day both Rajshahi and Dhaka consolidated their position and kept their title dreams alive. At Chittagong, Rajshahi finished the day with 325-9 while Dhaka restricted visitors Khulna to 286-9.

Rajshahi - Chittagong

At the close of the first day of the final round Rajshahi posted 325-9 against host Chittagong at Chittaging divisional stadium. Naeem Islam and Farhad Reza scored two contrasting fifties to take their total over 300 run mark. Naeem made a sedate 68 off 127 balls to consolidate the Rajshahi innings after a wobbly start, which saw the visitors tottering at 41-3 by the 16th over. After notable middle order contributions from Anisur Rahman (36), Mushfiqur Rahman (31), Hasanuzzaman (28) and Suhrawardi Shuvo (26), national discard Farhad Reza scored a quick fire 51-ball 55 with five boundaries and four sixes

Saju Datta of Chittaging bagged 4/108 while Waskurunee Palash and Elias Sunny netted 2/14 and 2/43 respectively.


At Fatullah Stadium, Khulna opted to bat after winning the toss and posted 286 for 9 at the close of play. Khulna opener Imrul Kayes scored a brilliant 78 runs off 108 deliveries with 11 fours and two sixes.

In the middle of the Khulna innings, they lost six wicket in the space of 94 runs but tailenders Fahim (39), Selim (25) and Ziaur (22 not out) frustrated the home attack.

Mohammed Azim of Dhaka took 4/53 and Rashedul Islam Sumon grabbed 3/80 dominating in the middle.

Score Summary:

Rajshahi first innings: 325-9 in 90 overs (Naeem Islam 68, Anisur Rahman 36, Mushfiqur Rahman 31, Farhad Reza 55, Arif 28*; Saju Datta 4-108, Waskuruni Palash 2-14, Elias Sunny 2-43).

Khulna first innings: 286-9 in 90 overs (Imrul Kayes 78, Monirul 46, Fahim Muntasir Sumit 39, Zia 22*; Mohammad Azim 4-53, Rashedul Islam Sumon 3-80).

Monday, 12 March 2007

Bangladesh A in Sri Lanka : Khaled Mashud gets another opportunity to prove his worth

12 March 2007

Former Bangladesh Captain Khaled Mashud who recently lost his place in the national squad has been picked for the Bangladesh A team tour in Sri Lanka. The selectors also picked Sahagir Hossain Pavel who played as wicketkeeper in recently completed series against England A for his impressive batting performance. Current Captain Tushar Imran will lead the side against the second string side of Sri Lanka.

Khaled Mashud requested the selectors not to select him for Englad A series due to personal reasons. Promising fast bowler Talha Jubair who made test debut against South Africa back in 2002 returned to the A team after a long injury break.

Junaed Siddiquee, Marshal Ayub, Mohammad Shahjada, Nasiruddin Faruque and Ziaur Rahman who played in the latest series against England A failed to keep their place in the Sri Lanka bound squad.

National discards left-arm spinner Manzarul Islam Rana and seaming all-rounder farhad Reza were rewarded for their domestic performances and will feature in the one day squad. They will join the team after completion of the unofficial four day test matches.

Bangladesh 'A' will leave Dhaka on March 16. They start their campaign on March 19 with the first unofficial Test at the Colts CC grounds in Colombo where they also play the second unofficial Test from March 25 and the first one-dayer on March 31.

The last two limited-over games will take places at the P Sara Stadium also in the Sri Lankan capital on April 2 and 4.

Selected players will report to the A Team coach Shaun Williams at the the National Academy House in Dhanmondi on March 14 at 6pm.

Tushar Imran (captain), Khaled Mashud (Wk), Mehrab Hossain, Enamul Haque, Mohammed Sharif, Sahagir Hossain (Wk), Nazimuddin, Nadif Chowdhury, Nazmul Hossain, Talha Jubaer, Mosharraf Hossain, Jahirul Islam, Dollar Mahmud, Mahmudullah Riyad,

Additionally for one dayers : Manzarul Islam Rana and Farhad Reza.

Saturday, 10 March 2007

Bashar is Happy with World Cup Preparation of Bangladesh

Bangladesh completed a near perfect preparation for their world cup challenge. The Tigers are aiming a second round berth ahead of either Sri Lanka or India. After winning the ICC tri-series involving Bermuda and Canada at Antigua at a canter, Bangladesh made the full utilization of the two warm up matches. In the first warm up match against New Zealand, they silenced their critics by an amazing two wicket win. Bangladesh showed impressive Kiwis. Bangladesh comfortably outplayed Scotland in the second and final warm up match by 7 wickets.

With everything going on according to plan, Bangladesh Captain, Habibul Bashar expressed his satisfaction about the overall preparation of his team ahead of the gala event. He repeated his optimism to reach second round while talking to the media after the second warm up match against Scotland.

“I have to say I am very satisfied with our preparation. We bowled and fielded well in both warm up matches and the batting has been impressive throughout. We did lose two early wickets in the second match but once again the middle-order never allowed any pressure to set in” said Bashar who is undoubtedly the most succesful captain of Bangladesh cricket history.

He further added “Everyone is in touch and that gives me a lot of confidence. The World Cup matches will be a different ball game but if we can continue doing what we are doing at the moment then we can be a pretty tough opposition for any team”.

According to Bashar, the victory against New Zealand was a morale booster for the team as it was their first match against a top quality team after the ICC champions trophy. "Before we came here for the World Cup nobody gave us a chance. That's fine for people to say, but we are looking at getting to the second round. With Tamim Iqbal and Mashrafe Mortaza playing so well, this is a great boost for the World Cup. Their contributions were brilliant. We will do one thing, that is play positive cricket," said confident looking Bashar.

Bangladesh is now anxiously waiting to know the injury status of Aftab Ahmed, one of their batting mainstream. He suffered an apparent muscle injury in the waist while batting in the second warm up match and had to leave the field on streture.

Friday, 9 March 2007

Bangladesh A off to Sri Lanka on March 16

Bangladesh A is enjoying some busy schedule of international cricket. After completion of current series with England A, they will be traveling to Sri Lanka to play two four-day Tests and three one-day matches against their Sri Lankan counterparts. Bangladesh A will leave Dhaka on March 16.

Bangladesh A start their campaign on March 19 with the first Test at the Colts CC grounds in Colombo where they also play the second Test from March 25 and the first one-dayer on March 31.

The last two limited-over games will take places at the P Sara Stadium also in the Sri Lankan capital on April 2 and 4.

Both Bangladeshi selectors and their counterparts have declared the preliminary squads for the series. Sri Lanka A team features the likes of Michael Vandort, Thilan Samarweera, Jeehan Mubarak and Rangana Herath who are taking this series as a bid to get their place back in the main side. On the other hand Bangladesh A side is relatively young and inexperienced. Only Captain Tushar Imran and young spinner Enamul Huq jr. played tests for Bangladesh.

After a rather unsuccessful home series against England A, players of Bangladesh A team are determined to display their best in the upcoming away series.

Preliminary squads

Sri Lanka A (from) : Michael Vandort, Mahela Udawatta, Malinda Warnapura, Thilan Samaraweera , Jehan Mubarak, Thilina Kandamby, Kanchana Goonawardane, Kaushal Silva, Ishara Amarasinghe, Akalanka Ganegama, Sujeewa Silva, Dhammika Prasad, Tharanga Lakshita, Chanaka Welagedera, Rangana Herath, Kaushal Lokuarachchi, Dilruwan Perera, Ranga Dias, Gayan Wijekoon

Bangladesh A (from) : Tushar Imran (Captain), Mehrab Hossain (Jr.), Jahirul Islam Omee, Nasiruddin Faruque, Marshall Ayub, Nadif Chowdhury, Enamul Haque (Jr.), Dollar Mahmud, Mohammad Sharif, Ziaur Rahman, Mosharraf Hossain Rubel, Nazmul Hossain, Junaed Siddique, Mahmudullah Riyad, Kazi Manzarul Islam, Md. Shahajada, Farhad Reza, Nazimuddin

Sahagir Hossain Pavel (Wk)


March 19-22: First Test (four-day) at Colts c.c. grounds-Colombo

March 25-28: Second Test (four-day) at Colts c.c. grounds-Colombo

March 31: First One-day Colts c.c. grounds-Colombo

April 2: Second One-day at P Sara Stadium - Colombo
April 4: Third One-day at P Sara Stadium - Colombo.

Thursday, 8 March 2007

Dhaka shares the lead with Rajshahi in the 8th National Cricket League

Dhaka make most of their opportunity to level with Rajshahi. After 9th round of 8th National cricket league Dhaka and Rajshahi are jointly leading the table although they enjoy slight advantage in terms of runs scored per wicket.

Although Dhaka's match against Sylhet, which began a day later than the remaining two matches, ended in a draw on the fourth and final day at the Fatullah Stadium, Dhaka picked up four points by virtue of a 20-run first-inning lead.

Dhaka and Rajshahi are now level on 36 points. Chittagong are a distant third with 28 points, followed by Barisal (24) Sylhet (22) and Khulna (14).
It was the first time Rajshahi, the only undefeated team in the six-team fray, had to share the top position after staying ahead throughout the first-class competition.

Brief scores:

Sylhet: 305 and 311-6 declared in 107.2 overs (Imtiaz 36, Rahman 21, Mabud 14, Kapali 104, Mawla 96, Saif 21 n.o., Hasibul 6 n.o., extras 13, Sharif 1-42, Sunny 1-80, Mosharraf 3-75).

Dhaka: 325 and 110-3 in 32 overs (Uttam 9, Rashedul 37, Anwar 33, Shamsur 14 n.o., Kamrul 7 n.o. extras 10, Shirhan 1-20, Kapali 1-30).

Standing after completion of 9th round

Ispahani Mirzapore Tea National Cricket League 2006/07 Table

Dhaka Division92160003633.248
Rajshahi Division94010313632.814
Chittagong Division91140302831.210
Barisal Division91230302425.868
Sylhet Division92200502224.651
Khulna Division90420211425.385

Leading run scorers of 8th National cricket league after 9th round.

NameMatchesInnsNot OutRunsHSAve10050
Gazi Salahuddin (Chit)8150697165 46.46 24
Imtiaz Hossain (Syl)918062597 34.72 04
Ehsanul Haque (Chit)9171609153 38.06 23
Alok Kapali (Syl)9170603173 35.47 21
Arafat Salahuddin (Bar)9152598139 46.00 22
Manjural Islam (Khul)8131531151 44.25 20
Imran Ahmed (Bar)9160509177 31.81 20
Dhiman Ghosh (Chit)9163504100*38.76 13
Naeem Islam (Rjshi)9130491126 37.76 14
Faisal Hossain (Chit)9174486121 37.38 12
Anwar Hossain (Dh)9151485108 34.64 22
Golam Mabud (Syl)9170464123 27.29 13
Golam Mawla (Syl)6122452106*45.20 11
Nazimuddin (Chit)7131447100*37.25 13
Anisur Rahman (Rjshi)7101438103 48.66 13
Uttam Sarkar (Dh)711042687 38.72 04
Hannan Sarkar (Bar)916041874 26.12 03
Mohammad Ashraful (Dh)350417263 83.40 20
Sajjadul Hasan (Khul)814141675 32.00 03
Shamsur Rahman (Dh)6102380103 47.50 12
Jamaluddin Ahmed (Khul)7122372103 37.20 13
Marshall Ayub (Dh)591353145 44.12 11
Junaid Siddique (Rjshi)461336114*67.20 12
Rajin Saleh (Syl)470334100 47.71 12

Leading wicket takers of 8th National Cricket League after 9th round

Shabbir Khan (Chit)25861021255487-13426.14 41
Mohammad Shahzada (Rjshi)112845538347-9515.82 21
Nabil Samad (Syl)187087700325-4321.87 20
Mohammad Sharif (Dh)107532615305-3420.50 31
Manjural Islam (Khul)1647100490256-4719.60 10
Tariqul Islam (Bar)138140738258-8829.52 31
Mosharraf Hossain (Dh)136267517246-5921.54 10
Mushfiqur Rahman (Rjshi)135166564245-5123.50 10
Humayun Kabir (Khul)97023659235-4828.65 21
Ali Arman (Bar)159462700225-2531.81 10
Alok Kapali (Syl)148849662213-3931.52 00
Tareq Aziz (Chit)126434672214-4432.00 00
Farhad Reza (Rjshi)69326316206-5415.80 20
Arafat Salahuddin (Bar)125359575204-4028.75 00
Hasibul Hossain (Syl)122645576204-4628.80 00
Sajidul Islam (Bar)116438564185-6131.33 10
Elias Sunny (Chit)145256710163-15344.37 00
Suhrawadi Shuvo (Rjshi)59029199155-3013.26 20
Saju Datta (Chit)80243294155-5819.60 10

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Tigers tame Kiwis. Bangladesh dominate the warm up

Match Report

The Kiwis, on the back of a 3-0 home thrashing of Australia, lost four top batsmen for scores of 4, 0, 11 and 3. Mashrafe Mortaza took 4-44 before Jacob Oram made light of a recently broken finger to hit 88 in a total of 224. Teenager Tamim Iqbal hit 46 off 48 before Mortaza saw his team home with successive sixes off James Franklin. Bangladesh did not even require the last over as they celebrated their first win of any description against New Zealand.

Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, fast becoming an allrounder of worth, blasted a 14-ball 30 including two mighty blows for six off the fourth and fifth deliveries of the penultimate over bowled by left-arm paceman James Franklin as Bangladesh quite sensationally toppled New Zealand's 226 with seven balls to spare in the first World Cup official practice game at the 3Ws Oval in Barbados today (Wednesday).

Mortaza had earlier starred with the new ball as he cut through the Black Caps top order after Stephen Fleming had won the toss and elected to bat. First victim for the Bangladesh fast bowler was opener Lou Vincent who after cracking a four off the first delivery was bowled next ball. Syed Rasel had number three Fleming caugt by slip fielder Abdur Razzak for a duck and then Mortaza got rid of Ross Taylor and Peter Fulton to leave the Cup favourites on 34/4 in the 12th over.

Abdur Razzak then chipped in with the wickets of Scot Styris and Craig McMillan in quick succession before a rearguard from Jacob Oram (88 off 107) and wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum (46 off 54) took their side past 200. Mortaza and Razzak finished with four wickets apiece.

The Bangladesh chase began in the most confident fashion and the openers Tamim Iqbal and Javed Omer took the score to 70 by the 15th over. Both departed in their 40s and Aftab Ahmed was lbw to Daniel vettori for 0. But Shakib Al Hasan, skipper Habibul Bashar, Mohammad Ashraful and Mushfiqur Rahim all made useful contributions before the Mortaza blitz sealed the game in the Tigers' favour. Bangladesh's final practice match is against Scotland on Thursday at the same venue.

Score Card

Bangladesh beat New Zealand by 2 wickets
New Zealand won the toss and decided to bat
224 all out (47.2 overs)
230 for 8 (49.0 overs)

New Zealand Innings
L Vincent
b Mashrafe Mortaza
3 1 0
S P Fleming c Abdur Razzak b Syed Rasel
8 0 0
R L Taylor c Mushfiqur Rahim b Mashrafe Mortaza
19 2 0
S B Styris c Mohammad Ashraful b Abdur Razzak
49 3 0
P G Fulton lbw b Mashrafe Mortaza
18 1 0
J D P Oram c Syed Rasel b Abdur Razzak
107 1 0
C D McMillan c and b Abdur Razzak
15 0 0
B B McCullum run out
54 0 0
D L Vettori c Javed Omar b Abdur Razzak
9 0 0
J E C Franklin not out
14 0 0
S E Bond
b Mashrafe Mortaza
4 0 0
6nb 3w 8lb 17
all out 224 (47.2 ovs)

Mashrafe Mortaza 9.2 2 44 4
Syed Rasel 8.0 1 17 1
Abdur Razzak 10.0 1 26 4
Shahadat Hossain 1.0 0 12 0
Saqibul Hasan 10.0 0 49 0
Tapash Baisya 6.0 0 42 0
Rajin Saleh 3.0 0 14 0

Fall of wicket

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Bangladesh Innings
Javed Omar
b D L Vettori
86 5 0
Tamim Iqbal st B B McCullum b D L Vettori
48 6 1
Aftab Ahmed lbw b D L Vettori
2 0 0
Saqibul Hasan c B B McCullum b J S Patel
38 2 0
Habibul Bashar run out
33 1 1
Mohammad Ashraful lbw b J E C Franklin
37 2 0
Mushfiqur Rahim c S B Styris b S E Bond
24 2 0
Rajin Saleh c L Vincent b J E C Franklin
12 0 0
Mashrafe Mortaza not out
14 1 3
Abdur Razzak not out
8 0 0
7nb 4w 11
for 8 230 (49.0 ovs)

J E C Franklin 8.0 0 54 2
S E Bond 9.0 0 59 1
M J Mason 5.0 0 15 0
J S Patel 10.0 0 40 1
D L Vettori 10.0 0 38 3
J D P Oram 5.0 1 14 0
S B Styris 2.0 0 10 0

Fall of wicket
85 Tamim Iqbal
85 Aftab Ahmed
104 Javed Omar
133 Saqibul Hasan
143 Habibul Bashar
176 Mushfiqur Rahim
192 Mohammad Ashraful
199 Rajin Saleh