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16 May, 2019 12:17:29 AM


Can Tigers be seventh time lucky?

BSS, Dhaka
Can Tigers be seventh time lucky?
Bangladesh cricketers stand during the playing of the national anthem before the Tri-Nation Series, ODI match against Ireland at the Clontarf Cricket Club Ground in Dublin yesterday. AFP photo

Over the years, Bangladesh have been evolved as true giants of cricket from a team of occasional flashes of brilliance.

They have won a number of bilateral series both home and away against top teams of the world but one thing still eludes them-they haven’t won a final of a tournament involving three or more teams. So far they have played six finals in ODI and T20 formats but can’t get over the line eventually.

Showing powerful performances in the group phase of tri-series tournament in Ireland, they have sealed yet another spot in the final, seventh time they did this.

This time they will take on West Indies to clinch the elusive trophy in Dublin on Friday.

West Indies will be the first team apart from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to play a final against Bangladesh. Can Bangladesh break the jinx to be seventh time lucky to take them to the seventh heaven?

As Bangladesh go into another tournament final let us have a brief recap of what happened in those six finals.

Tri-nation ODI tournament, 16 Jan 2009, Dhaka (2-wicket defeat against Sri Lanka)

The heartbreaking two-run defeat to Sri Lanka in 2009 was Bangladesh’s first defeat in the final, with which the sequence of defeats began. And it is going on and on. Zimbabwe was the other team in this tri-nation tournament held in Dhaka.

In low-scoring affair, Bangladesh were shot out for 152, with Rokibul Hasan making highest 43. As everybody predicted a defeat of Bangladesh, the home side stunned everyone in the packed Sher-e-Bangla Cricket ground by reducing Sri Lanka for 5-6. Stake was high to seal the trophy in their first ever final but they were not to be.

Kumar Sangakkara revived Lankan innings with 59 runs before an unbeaten 38 from Farveez Maharoof and an incredible unbeaten 16-ball 33 from Muttiah Muralidaran snatched the victory away from the Tigers.

Asia Cup, 22 March 2012, Dhaka (2-run defeat against Pakistan)

The number 2 looks to remain a curse for Bangladesh. Three years after their heartbreaking loss to Sri Lanka in tri-nation final, this time they lost the Asia Cup final to Pakistan, also by the same margin, albeit in a more heart-wrenching fashion.

The defeat was so unbearable that left even the cricketer with tough mentality Shakib Al Hasan was crying like baby. Bangladesh went into the final with momentum on their side, having defeated Sri Lanka and Indian in comprehensive manner. They though lost to Pakistan in the group phase, still remained favourites because of their astonishing resurgence.

Pakistan set them a target of 235 to win and Bangladesh looked to be on course, thanks to Tamim Iqbal’s 60 and Shakib Al Hasan’s 68. However, Bangladesh kept losing wickets at regular intervals as the target came closer and with nine runs needed off the last over, Mahmudullah Riyad, who stayed unbeaten on 17, failed to keep enough of the strike as Bangladesh eventually fell to a two-run defeat.

Asia Cup, 6 March 2016, Dhaka (8-wicket defeat against India)

Unlike the two finals, it was a one-sided affair and Bangladesh’s first defeat in T20 final. The 2016 Asia Cup turned out to be T20 format because of giving the players a chance to have practice ahead of 2016 World T20.

There were no nerve-wrecking moments or drama in a rain-curtailed 15-over affair game. Despite a 13 ball-33 runs knock, Bangladesh was restricted to 120-5 in 15 overs, which was no match for India’s much-vaunted batting line up. They got to the victory mark in 13.5 overs, losing just two wickets.

Tri-nation final, 27 January 2018, Dhaka (79-run defeat against Sri Lanka)

Another tri-nation tournament that involved Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka and another defeat of Bangladesh at the hands of Sri Lanka in the final, making it four straight losses in the final game. Bangladesh was absolute favourite this time, because of making it habit to defeat Lankan and Zimbabwe side.

They began the tournament in emphatic fashion, dispatching Zimbabwe by eight wickets and thrashing Sri Lanka by 163 runs before handing a 93-run defeat to Zimbabwe again in their first three matches to book an early berth in the final. However, a 10-wicket defeat against the Lankans in the reverse fixture shifted the momentum as the hosts started the final as underdogs.

But they raised the prospect of winning their first title, having restricted Lankans to 221. As everybody expected a victory, Bangladesh disappointed all of them yet again by being all out for a meager 142 in 41.1 overs.

Nidahas Trophy T20 final, 18 March 2018, Colombo (4-wicket defeat against India)

It was yet another heart-stopping final as India won beat Bangladesh by four wickets in the last ball, thanks to a Dinesh Karthik heroic. Karthik’s 8 ball-29 not out helped India win the match from the jaws of defeats but most importantly he inscribed his name into the folklore of cricket by hitting the last ball-six when India needed five runs to win in the last ball.

So it was again a case of so near, yet so far for Bangladesh. Bangladesh managed 166-8 thanks to a 50 ball-77 from Sabbir Rahman. It was India’s almost second string side, led by Rohit Sharma.

However the captain led from the front with 56 and Karthik gave the finishing touch. Including the final, India defeated Bangladesh thrice in the tournament before the Tigers beat hosts Sri Lanka twice to seal the final.

They had the moments to cheer when they gunned down Sri Lanka’s 215-run target with ease, which remains Bangladesh’s highest chase in T20. Mushfiqur Rahim played one of the best T20 knocks when he clubbed 35 ball-72 not out.

Asia Cup final, 28 September 2018, Dubai (3-wicket defeat against India)

It was yet again a second string Indian side, led by Rohit Sharma and Bangladesh found them in wanting in the crucial moment to taste their sixth straight defeat in the final. Bangladesh beat all the teams in the tournament except India yet again.

Bangladesh played the whole tournament without the service of their key player Shakib Al Hasan who suffered finger injury ahead of the tournament and Tamim Iqbal got injured in the midst of the tournament to return to the country. Thanks to Liton Das’s career-best 117 ball-121, Bangladesh got a fabulous start but a sensational middle order collapse saw them all out for 222 in 48.3 overs.

India also was in cornered situation before they held the nerve in the nerve-wrecking moment with Kedar Yadav, the last recognized batsman of India helped the side get over the line in the last ball with severely injured leg. None of the batsman of India could hit even a half-century with the highest was captain Rohit Sharma’s 48.



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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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