Dhaka Tribune Sports is remembering five match-winning batting performances from the Tigers batsmen in their World Cup history
Bangladesh have played six World Cups in their history – 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019. Dhaka Tribune Sports is remembering five match-winning batting performances from the Tigers batsmen in their World Cup history.
Minhajul Abedin Nannu's 68 against Scotland, 1999
Bangladesh made their maiden World Cup appearance back in 1999 in England. The Tigers finished the tournament with two wins, including a shocking upset against mighty Pakistan. The win against Pakistan came on the back of a total team effort. But the win against Scotland though came after a crucial knock from Nannu. Bangladesh were struggling at one stage as they lost half of their batting line-up for just 26 runs in 10.3 overs. But Nannu stood tall and batted with solid technique and determination. Despite losing five wickets within 11 overs, Bangladesh batted the whole 50 overs, and scored 185 for the loss of nine wickets. Credit goes to Nannu, who was unbeaten on 68 off 116 deliveries with half a dozen fours on a difficult wicket. The match was intensely close but Bangladesh eventually recorded their first ever win (by 22 runs) in World Cup history. Nannu thoroughly deserved the man of the match award for his valiant effort.
Nannu plays a shot en route to his half century against Scotland in the 1999 World Cup in the UK
Tamim Iqbal's 51 against India, 2007
Bangladesh produced another stunning upset in the history of the World Cup when they beat formidable India in Port of Spain in 2007. Batting first, India folded for a surprising 191 in 49.3 overs with a line-up comprising Virender Sehwag, Saurav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni. In reply, Bangladesh lost five wickets before reaching their target as three teenagers – Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib al Hasan – batted with a brave heart and each scored 50-plus. Tamim (51 off 53) gave a great start and stroked shots all around the park, including that famous sixer charging down the ground against Zaheer Khan. Mushfiq (56* off 107) anchored the innings with calm batting while Shakib (53 off 86) played a brilliant knock in the middle-order. Riding on these three fifties from these youngsters, Bangladesh achieved a memorable win in their World Cup history.
Tamim charges down the ground during their clash against India in the Caribbean in 2007
Mohammad Ashraful's 87 against South Africa, 2007
After defeating India and Bermuda in the group stage, Bangladesh qualified for the Super Eight stage in the 2007 World Cup. There, Bangladesh registered another historic performance by beating South Africa in Providence on April 7. Taking first guard, Bangladesh posted a fighting total of 251, riding on Ashraful’s brilliant 87-run innings. The right-hander struck a dozen boundaries in his entertaining knock spanning 83 balls. Ashraful got out in the last over of the innings, 13 short of a well-deserved hundred. His courageous knock gave the Tigers enough runs on the board to check the Proteas in the end. The Proteas were dismissed for 184 and Ashraful was adjudged player of the match for his superb batting display. Ashraful’s match-winning 87 is certainly one of the very best for Bangladesh in the World Cup stage.
Mahmudullah's 103 against England, 2015
Mahmudullah created history for the Tigers in the 2015 World Cup match against England in Adelaide, Australia by scoring 103. It was the first ever hundred by a Bangladeshi in the World Cup. Bangladesh were struggling after losing their openers early in the game. Mahmudullah, who batted at No 3 then, steadied the innings with a calm approach, and formed a good partnership with Soumya Sarkar for the fourth wicket. Even after the loss of Soumya and Shakib’s wickets, Mahmudullah anchored the innings alongside Mushfiq (89) and put up enough runs on the board for the Bangladesh bowlers to defend. Mahmudullah’s patient yet mesmerizing 103-run knock came to a halt in the 46th over. But by that time, he made history for the Tigers. Later, Bangladesh won by 15 runs with a sizzling bowling effort, particularly by Rubel Hossain in the death overs. Mahmudullah’s solid innings earned him the man of the match award, and Bangladesh a famous win that saw the Three Lions get knocked out of the 2015 World Cup.
Shakib al Hasan's 124 against the West Indies, 2019
Shakib’s 124 in pursuit of the West Indies’ 322 in the 2019 World Cup is the final one in the list. Shakib was on song throughout the 2019 World Cup, especially with the bat, as the star all-rounder scored two fifties and one century in Bangladesh’s first three matches. The game against the Windies was played in Taunton at a relatively small venue. The West Indies managed to scored 321 in their 50 overs, despite boasting plenty of power-hitters in their batting line-up like Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Andre Russell, Nicholas Pooran and Shimron Hetmyer. Although the boundary was a bit on the shorter side, chasing a 300-plus score in any ground is anything but easy. And Bangladesh had to make history while chasing 322 as they never won a match chasing 320-plus with their previous best of 319 coming against Scotland in the 2015 World Cup. But on-song Shakib played a majestic innings and smashed 124 off just 99 deliveries with as many as 16 boundaries. Shakib’s 124, Liton Das’ 94 and Tamim’s 48 ensured Bangladesh a commanding win with 8.3 overs to spare. Thanks to Shakib’s knock, Bangladesh barely broke sweat in pursuit of such a record chase.
* These five innings have been nominated considering match situation and opponents, among other things.