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When the Tigers won big in ODI cricket

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Bangladesh_cricket_Pakistan_whitewash_ODI_T20IBangladesh’s 2018 Asia Cup campaign got off to a resounding start, as they walloped Sri Lanka by 137 runs in their opening game in Dubai. The star of the evening was diminutive dynamo Mushfiqur Rahim, whose career-best 144 helped the Tigers recover from a torrid first two overs – they were reeling at 1/2 and also lost Tamim Iqbal to a wrist injury – and take their total to 261. This led to Bangladesh’s sixth-biggest ODI win, and their biggest away from home.

Here is a look back at the five biggest ODI wins achieved by Bangladesh in terms of runs.

Beat Sri Lanka by 163 runs, Dhaka, 2017-18

Last week’s win in the Asia Cup was not the first time that Sri Lanka were at the receiving end of a Bangladeshi bashing. In January this year, Bangladesh played host to Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in a double round-robin triangular series at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. Sri Lanka went down to Zimbabwe by just 12 runs in their first game, and were looking for redemption against a buoyant home side. Bangladesh won the toss and elected to bat first.

Tamim set the tone with a well-paced 84 from 102 balls, which was made in the course of partnerships of 71 with Anamul Haque for the first wicket and 99 with Shakib Al Hasan for the second wicket. Shakib and Rahim took over after Tamim’s loss, and their third-wicket stand of 57 ensured that Bangladesh’s charge towards a big total was not stalled. Shakib fell for a 63-ball 67, but Rahim (62 in 52 balls) helped raise a further 50 for the fifth wicket with Mahmudullah.

Sabbir Rahman smote 24 off 12 balls to swell the total to 320/7. This was the second time within a year that Bangladesh crossed 300 against Sri Lanka, after having racked up 324/5 at Dambulla in March 2017. Sri Lanka never seemed to be in the hunt, especially after stumbling to 106/5 in the 25th over. Shakib (3/47) starred with his left-arm spin as well to hasten Sri Lanka’s demise, and the innings wound up at 157 in the 33rd over, giving Bangladesh their biggest ODI victory.

Beat West Indies by 160 runs, Khulna, 2012-13

Even though they were beaten by the West Indies in both the Test matches, Bangladesh’s rising 50-over fortunes – they lost the Asia Cup final to Pakistan eight months earlier by just two runs – meant that they started the ODI series on an equal footing. The Tigers signalled their intentions with a seven-wicket win in the first ODI at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna, and two days later at the same venue, they upped the ante by producing another dominating performance.

It was the West Indies who drew first blood, reducing Bangladesh to 21/2 in the seventh over after deciding to field. However, opener Anamul Haque, two weeks short of turning 20 and playing in only his second ODI, joined forces with his captain Rahim to take the game away from the Windies. The duo shared a dynamic third-wicket partnership of 174 before Rahim was removed by pacer Ravi Rampaul for 79 off 87 balls. The scales had tilted towards Bangladesh.

Anamul ensured that he reached a memorable century, and it was only in the 49th over that he was dislodged, falling to Rampaul for a 145-ball 120 with 13 fours and two sixes. Rampaul was the standout West Indian bowler, returning a haul of 5/49, but he could not prevent a total of 292/6. In reply, the visitors succumbed to off-spinner Sohag Gazi (3/21) and left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak (3/19). No batsman crossed 28, and the innings came to end at 132 in 41.3 overs.

Beat Scotland by 146 runs, Dhaka, 2006-07

Bangladesh were not an established ODI force at the time. Thus, two home matches against lower-ranked Scotland presented an opportunity to notch a rare series win. The hosts held a 1-0 lead, and looked good to seal the deal in what was only the third ODI to be played at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. The young pair of Aftab Ahmed (52) and Shakib (44) anchored the Bangladeshi innings, but at 199/6 in the 43rd over, Scotland were threatening to seize control.

Mashrafe Mortaza turned the game around with 51* in 27 balls while adding an unbeaten 79 in 45 balls with Mohammad Ashraful for the seventh wicket. This effort lifted Bangladesh to 278/6. Mortaza was not done yet – he accounted for Navdeep Poonia and Dougie Brown in the very first over of the chase to reduce the score to 0/2. Left-arm spinners Razzak (4/23) and Mohammad Rafique made short work of the batting to follow, combining to bundle Scotland out for 132 in the 42nd over.

Beat Zimbabwe by 145 runs, Dhaka, 2015-16

This was the first match of a three-ODI series in Mirpur, which Bangladesh would go on to sweep 3-0. The Zimbabwean pacers began well, having the Tigers at 30/2 in the ninth over. Tamim (40) and Rahim and shared in a 70-run alliance for the third wicket to put the innings back on track. But the off-spin of Sikandar Raza consumed Tamim and Shakib in the space of four overs, leaving Bangladesh at a sluggish 123/4 in the 28th over. The onus was now on Rahim.

To Bangladesh’s satisfaction, Rahim delivered with a pugnacious 107 from 109 balls. He found an able partner in Sabbir (57), and they put together 119 for the fifth wicket. Zimbabwe clawed back with late wickets, but the total of 273/9 looked formidable enough, and so it proved. The wiles of Shakib (5/47) took centre stage thereafter, and despite a knock of 41 from captain Elton Chigumbura, who was the last man out, Zimbabwe crumbled for 128 with nearly 14 overs left.

Beat Afghanistan by 141 runs, Dhaka, 2016-17

There was all to play for in this deciding third ODI in Mirpur. Afghanistan had bounced back from a frustrating seven-run defeat in the first ODI to level the series with a two-wicket win in the second encounter, and now had a chance to win their first bilateral series against Bangladesh. Skipper Mortaza called correctly at the toss, after which the reliable Tamim forged a match-winning second-wicket stand of 140 with Sabbir to neutralise the early loss of Soumya Sarkar.

Sabbir was out for 65, but Tamim proceeded to a score a run-a-ball 118, with 11 fours and two sixes, to pave the way for a total of 279/8. Mortaza significantly dampened Afghan hopes by sending the dangerous Mohammad Shahzad back for a duck in his second over. Afghanistan failed to recover from this setback, as they soon collapsed to 55/4 and further to 89/7 before being bowled out for 138 in the 34th over. Mosharraf Hossain’s left-arm spin fetched him 3/24.

 

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Rustom Deboo is a cricket aficionado and freelance writer from Mumbai. He is an ardent devotee of T...

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