The year 2016 was a memorable one for the Bangladesh cricket team who continued from where they had left off in 2015. The Tigers maintained their brand of fearless cricket this year in all three formats of the game, earning a lot of praise along the way.
And with the year drawing to a close, Dhaka Tribune
takes a look-back at five of the most indelible moments of Bangladesh cricket in 2016.
Tigers reach second Asia Cup final
The rise of the Tigers continued after an impressive 2015 as they progressed to the final of the Asia Cup Twenty20 2016. Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka and Pakistan on their way to the grand finale. However, Mashrafe bin Mortaza and his troop were outplayed by a strong India team by eight wickets in the final. Four years earlier, Bangladesh reached their maiden Asia Cup final but eventually conceded a heartbreaking two-run defeat against Pakistan. It was undoubtedly one of the biggest achievements for the Tigers to reach the final this year. More importantly, the final appearance provided the Tigers some much-needed boost as they continue in their quest to improve their fortunes in the shortest format.
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Bangladesh's Tamim Iqbal jumps for joy after becoming the first Tigers batsman to score centuries across all three formats COURTESY
Tamim strikes maiden T20I century
Dashing left-hander Tamim Iqbal has been in terrific touch for the Tigers throughout the year, achieving several milestones. He smashed Bangladesh's maiden T20 international hundred, against Oman in the 2016 World T20 in India, becoming the first Tigers batsman to score centuries in all three formats. The stylish batsman struck five sixes and 10 boundaries in his 63-ball 103. Tamim is also the leading Bangladesh run-scorer across all three formats. No doubt Tamim will look to continue his growth as a world-class batsman in 2017, earning many more achievements along the way.
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Bangladesh fast bowling sensation Mustafizur Rahman is all smiles following his return to Dhaka after undergoing a surgery in August this year DHAKA TRIBUNE
Mustafizur injury and return
One of the biggest concerns for the Tigers supporters and the team management in 2016 was perhaps the shoulder injury of fast bowling sensation Mustafizur Rahman. The left-arm seamer was ruled out due to injury while playing for Sussex in the English County Championship in July. The Satkhira cricketer underwent a successful shoulder operation in his left shoulder on August 11 under the supervision of surgeon Andrew Wallace at Fortius Clinic in England. Mustafizur eventually made his return to the national side after a five-month layoff against New Zealand in the ongoing three-match ODI series. In the first of three ODIs at Hagley Oval in Christchurch, he picked up two wickets. Without a doubt, his competitive return will enable the Tigers fans to heave a huge sigh of relief. The return of the “Cutter Master” will increase the strength of the Bangladesh fast bowling department in the upcoming games.
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Bangladesh players celebrate after winning the historic Dhaka Test match against England in October this year DHAKA TRIBUNE
Bangladesh’s historic Test win against England
Perhaps Bangladesh's biggest achievement ever since receiving the Test status 16 years back is the historic Test match win against England in the later stages of 2016. Mushfiqur Rahim’s troop went agonisingly close to victory in the first Test only to fall short by just 22 runs in Chittagong. But they came back strong in the second Test in Dhaka, clinching their first ever Test win against a formidable opponent. The aggressive approach and brilliant team planning were key reasons behind the historic Test win. The memories of the Mirpur win will surely help the Tigers to improve further in the longest format as time goes on.
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Mehedi Hasan Miraz was perhaps the biggest find for Bangladesh cricket in the year 2016 DHAKA TRIBUNE
Miraz’s dream debut
The year 2016 gave birth to a new sensation for the Tigers as youngster Mehedi Hasan Miraz made a grand entry against England in the two-Test series. The 19-year old off-spinner roared into the record books, picking up seven wickets on debut in Chittagong in the first Test. In the process, he became the seventh Bangladesh cricketer to pick up a five-wicket haul on debut. The former captain of the Bangladesh under-19 side carried his brilliant form to the senior stage, going on to bag 12 wickets in the second Test. His 6/82 in the second innings meant he became just the fourth spinner, after Australia’s Clarrie Grimmet, England’s Nick Cook and India’s Narendra Hirwani to pick up consecutive five-wicket hauls in the first two Tests. And it was largely down to Miraz’s outstanding performance that the Tigers managed to register their maiden Test win against England, and level the series in the process.