Thursday, 13 September 2007

Explosive Bangladesh storm into the second round

An astounding display of power hitting by Bangladesh skipper Mohammad Ashraful and dashing Aftab Ahmed secured a comprehensive 6 wicket win over West Indies with 2 overs to spare at Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg today.

Chasing a victory target of 164 in 20 overs, Bangladesh did not get the desired start as they lost reliable Nazimuddin in the second over of the match with only 2 runs on the board.

 Explosive Bangladesh storm into the second round

Explosive Bangladesh storm into the second round © Cricinfo

Tamim Iqbal soon departed while trying to clear Rampaul out of the ground finding Chanderpaul at mid off. Bangladesh were in a spot of bother and the spotlight was on Bangladesh skipper Mohammad Ashraful to produce an extra-ordinary innings similar to one in Guayana which denied South Africa in the last world cup.

Ashraful responded to the situation brilliantly and shared a 109 run partnership with Aftab Ahmed in just 10.2 overs with blistering display of cricket shots to send West Indies packing without a win in the inaugural Twenty20 world cup.

Ashraful tore West Indies attack apart in his 27 ball 61 and registered fastest fifty in the history of Twenty20 International, off just 20 balls. At the other end Aftab played his innings of life to guide Bangladesh home after the departure of skipper Ashraful and remained unbeaten on 62.

Ashraful nonchalantly clouted boundaries after boundaries and Aftab Ahmed aptly joined the party as West Indian attack imploded at Wanderers. Ashraful smacked 7 fours and 3 sixes in his blitzkrieg innings and Aftab walloped 8 boundaries and one six which sailed over the fine leg to the stand.

Earlier, Bangladesh won the crucial toss and decided to field first after an unscheduled one hour delay due to damp pitch caused by over watering by groundstaff. Syed Rasel removed the danger man Chris Gayle with a gem of delivery in the very first over and set the tone of the match for Bangladesh. While run leaked from the other end, Rasel kept everything tight and conceded only 10 runs which is the most economical spell in Twenty20 history.

A second-wicket 95 run stand between Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Devon Smith helped West Indies to recover from the shoddy start, and West Indies were well on course for yet another big score after their mammoth 205 in the first match of the tournament.

Introduction of spin pegged West Indies back and Bangladesh were well on top until 16th over of the innings. The West Indian innings gathered a dramatic momentum in the last 4 overs as Bangladesh skipper continued with his leg spin, and Marlon Samuels and Dwayne Smith clobbered Ashraful for flurry of fours and sixes. Ashraful conceded 44 runs in his last 2 overs and West Indies posted a challenging 164 in the must win game.

Shakib Al Hasan was the most successful Bangladesh bowler and pouched 3 wickets in the last over of the match to raise his match tally to 4 for 34. Abdur Razzak grabbed 2 wickets in his impressive spell conceding 25 runs.

Bangladesh is now leading the points table of Group A, also involving South Africa, and progressed into the second round with one match remaining.

Bangladesh will play their last group match against host South Africa at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday. The day night affair will be Bangladesh's first appearance under light in Twenty20 cricket.

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Bangladesh canter to 5-wicket win against Kenya

Bangladesh have comfortably won their first match against Kenya by 5 wickets in the Twenty20 Quadrangular tournament at Nairobi Gymkhana Ground in Kenya today (Saturday).

Chasing a modest victory target of 139 set by Kenya, Bangladesh effected a well-constructed all-round display and reached the target with 14 balls remaining.

 Ashraful tasted first win as International captain

Ashraful tasted first win as International captain in todays 5 wicket victory against Kenya © Cricinfo

Bangladesh was well on the top right from the beginning of the run chase and never looked in trouble as Kenya bowlers failed to restrict the run flow in the first 10 overs.

Bangladesh opener Nazimuddin struck a flamboyant 43 off 36 balls and Aftab Ahmed struck a blitzkrieg 17 off 6 balls to set the tone of the Bangladesh run chase. Nazimuddin was adjudged man of the man for his debut innings in international cricket which included three 4’s and two 6’s.

Despite some quick fall of wicket, Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful steadied the Bangladesh innings along with all-rounder Alok Kapali to ensure an easy Bangladesh win. Ashraful hammered 36 off 20 deliveries including four boundaries and one six while Alok Kapali took a more patient approach and remained unbeaten on 17 off 19 balls to guide Bangladesh home.

P J Ongondo was the most successful Kenya bowler and grabbed 2 wickets for 21 runs while Odoyo, Kamande and Onyango picked 1 wicket each.

Earlier, Bangladesh won the toss and elected to field first on a sunny afternoon in Nairobi. A double strike from Bangladesh pace spearhead Mashrafe Mortaza in early on left Kenya rebuilding their innings for most part of their innings.

Left arm seamer Syed Rasel and spinner Abdur Razzak kept the pressure on and Kenya found it difficult to post a big total in front of the home crowd. Tanmay Mishra top scored with 38 runs off 41 deliveries and Steve Tikolo chipped in with a useful 24 runs off 21 deliveries.

Some late strike from Thomas Odoyo (22 off 13) and Collins Obuya (14 off 10) helped Kenya to post a respectable 138/7 in the stipulated 20 overs, but at the end it was proved inadequate to restrict the victory charge by young Bangladesh line-up.

Mashrafe Mortaza, Abdur Razzak and Farhad Reza bagged 2 wickets each for Bangladesh while skipper Mohammad Ashraful grabbed 1 wicket in his debut Twenty20 international.

Bangladesh face Pakistan while Kenya meet Uganda in the same ground on Sunday.

Shakib ruled out of Twenty20 Quadrangular due to finger injury

Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib-Al-Hasan is ruled out of the Twenty20 quadrangular tournament due to an injury in his right index finger. The news came as a severe blow to the Bangladesh team who will be facing Kenya in their first match of the Quadrangular tournament today (1 September).

"Shakib has an impact fracture on his right index finger," said team physio Azmal Ahmed. The 20-year-old sustained the injury while playing a Twenty20 match in practice on Thursday.

Shakib will be monitored for the next few days and is expected to play a part in the Twenty20 World Cup to be held in South Africa.

Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful remains hopeful about the prospect of his team in the tournament and also in the Twenty20 World Cup.

"It will be an ideal build-up for the Twenty20 World Championship. The conditions here are pretty similar to South Africa and we have good sides to play against. Kenya will be especially tough at home while Pakistan are a world-class team," said Ashraful at the pre-tournament media briefing.