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Straight Bat: Pakistan beats Bangladesh to take the 5th spot

  • Published at 11:37 am July 6th, 2019
Web-Tamim-WC-2019-Manik
Bangladeshi opener Tamim Iqbal walks back to pavilion after getting out against Pakistan on Friday, July 5, 2019 Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik from London

When the main batter is down and out, the others cannot win it for him

The seventh spot that Bangladesh occupies in the point table says it all. It beat the three teams below it and shared a rain washed point with Sri Lanka just above. While Pakistan and Sri Lanka beat England, now on their way to the semis, Bangladesh did not beat any team higher then them on the table. Of the three teams, Pakistan did the best, with the possibility of qualifying till late. It failed but Pakistan won the match by 94 runs, showing the edge it had over Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. But in all fairness, none of the three South Asian teams were inspiring.

Some players made a difference, some like Shakib made a huge difference. Old warhorse Malinga’s swansong was loud with intensity overcoming a weary bowling arm. A few Pakistani players - Imad, Imam, and Amir - were assets but Pakistan as a whole lacked punch.  Fifth is good and fair for them and aside from the dream of repeating 1992, a fair result. Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka were not up there. They need to be better next time. Can they?  

Bangladesh’s unready campaign    

Bangladesh was not ready for the World Cup like Shakib was, to cite an example. It really had no bowling to threaten others and most wickets came towards the end of the innings, evident in the Pakistan-Bangladesh match. Yes, it reduces the total by 15-20 runs but does not change the complexion of the match. They chased and lost far too many times because the total could not be reined in. And with a fielding that at best could be called bad, hopes were always slim. 

Bangladesh still has not learned how to get early wickets, and until it does, it will remain a lower middle order team. Bangladesh went to the World Cup without a bowling infantry and paid the price. Barring Saifuddin, the others did not look good. Not even Fizz with his late order wickets but giving huge runs early on.

Mashrafe, a great captain and hopefully a great politician one day, is a liability now. Going for many runs and never getting a wicket happens after a player’s is past their expiration date. So thanks for serving so well, but it is time for farewell.  

Sorrow for Tamim who was never fired up in what has been one of his worst tournaments. When the main batter is down and out, the others cannot win it for him. Even New Zealand’s Kane Williamson had some support which is why they reached the semis despite the late stuttering. But for Bangladesh, Shakib and Mushfiq fought alone. In the end, his achievements irrespective of what trophy he gets, also highlighted the lack of contribution from others.

So dear Bangladesh, learn your lessons, plan and work hard. Do not believe media hype which makes you heroes even when you are not heroic. Believe that you are good but not good enough. And next time, show them that you have become so.