Team Tigers take a bow

The image of Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim in tears after the Asia Cup final in March is one that springs readily to mind when looking at the Bangladesh cricket team’s performance in the year just going by. The chance to achieve their biggest success was shattered following a two-run defeat to Pakistan at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in March, but the crying cricketers won the hearts of millions through their outstanding performance in the region’s showpiece event.
The rousing performance also served notice of a much improved side, especially in the one-day version of the game, and the seeds sown in the Asia Cup came out in full bloom in the latter part of the year when they won a one-day series 3-2 against a fancied and in-form West Indies.
The Tigers, as they are affectionately called, made the best of the few opportunities they were handed in 2012. It is a reality of the times that at the end of each year the cricketers hog the spotlight as far as sports in the country go. It is much the same this year but the crucial and pleasant difference is that while in previous years the spotlight was trained on one or two cricketers because of their exceptional performances, in 2012 the object of congratulation is the entire team as Bangladesh played as a ‘unit’ to achieve great success in ODI cricket. 2012 was the only year in their history that Bangladesh have more wins than losses against full-strength, top sides in the ODI format.
The Tigers’ performances did not only depend on contributions from one or two cricketers, rather everyone in the playing eleven and the squad did their part to make sure they won five ODIs out of nine. The bowling unit, which has always been considered a weak link, deserves special praise for the way they played their part. One instance is enough to exemplify the Tigers’ improved bowling discipline and stomach — Shafiul Islam came in place of injured Mashrafe Bin Mortaza in the series-deciding one-dayer against West Indies and the lanky paceman did exactly what the injured Mashrafe was doing in the previous matches by tying down and then taking the crucial wicket of dangerman Chris Gayle.
That example speaks of the excellent team that translated into spirited and disciplined on-field displays, for which the team management deserves substantial credit.
It is a common feeling that the best must come from Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal if Bangladesh want to do well against top international sides. The contribution of the two world-class players were doubtless immense in Bangladesh’s success in the year, but players like captain Mushfiqur Rahim, all-rounder Nasir Hossain and vice-captain Mahmudullah Riyad stepped up at various crucial junctures to give the lie to the long-held dependence on the two stalwarts. What was most refreshing for Bangladesh cricket was that young cricketers like off-spinner Shohag Gazi, — a real revelation for Bangladesh cricket — Anamul Haque and Mominul Haque have provided real signs that good times lie ahead.
One cannot forget the form of Tamim, who had hit four fifties in a row in the Asia Cup to silence the critical storm that was building before the tournament. Shakib’s 31-ball 49 played a big part in swinging the game Bangladesh’s way against India, but one must also praise the three top-order batsmen — Tamim, Nasir and Jahurul Islam — for their half-centuries and Mushfiqur’s 25-ball 46 when looking back at the successful chase of a 289-run target. In the game against Sri Lanka, Nasir and Riyad kept their cool after Shakib’s fifty to set up the final against Pakistan.
And then the Tigers showed how much they had grown as an international side by winning the end-of-year ODI series against the West Indies without their talisman, Shakib, who missed the ODI series because of a shin bone injury, especially as the pre-series prediction in many quarters was a 5-0 whitewash in favour of the Caribbeans.
Shohag had a series to remember for a long time as he carried his impressive form of the Test matches into the ODIs to make matters difficult for the tourists along with veteran left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak. Anamul’s maiden hundred was another brilliant highlight in the series. The impression of Bangladesh becoming a true team in 2012 is only strengthened by the fact that Tamim was not in his best form during the series.
Bangladesh played nine ODIs, the fewest since 2001, but the figure was more pathetic in Test cricket as they got to play only two Tests in the entire year. The Tigers played their first Test in almost a year when they took on the West Indians in the first of two matches. Mushfiqur’s men might not have taken as big a step forward in the Test arena as they did in the ODI format, but they had some notable positives in the two defeats against West Indies.
In Tests the Tigers somewhat overcame almost a year’s gap by racking up their highest score of 556 in the first match against the West Indies in November. Although the series was lost 2-0, there were encouraging performances from various members — Naeem Islam’s patient hundred in the first Test, Shohag’s bowling, and Abul Hasan’s debut hundred batting at number ten in the second Test — but the team has a ways to go to be competitive in the longest form.
In T20s it was an ordinary year, with defeats to Scotland, the Netherlands and an early exit from the World twenty20 in Sri Lanka.
But the year will still be remembered for the Tigers’ achievement in ODI cricket, and most of all for the teamwork that brought about those successes.

-With The Daily Star input

Related News

Young Tigresses defeat USA to advance as group champions

Sports Desk : Bangladesh batters Rabeya Khan and Misty Shaha dug deep as they saw their side off in a nervy run chase beating the USA by five wickets in their final Group A match of the ICC Women’s U-19 T20 World Cup at Willowmoore Park in Benoni yesterday. With qualification already in the ... Read more

Bangladesh stun Australia in Women’s U-19 T20 WC opener 

Sports Desk : Bangladesh women’s team made a sensational start in the ICC Women’s Under-19 T20 World Cup as they beat their Australian counterparts in their first match by seven-wicket at the Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Saturday. Dilara Akter scored 40 off 42 while Sumaiya Akter and Shorna Akter remained not out on ... Read more

Bangladesh win another thriller against India, capture ODI series

5-run win gives Tigers series victory Sports Desk : Bangladesh won the three-match ODI series with a game to spare after a five-run triumph at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday. Bangladesh continued their dominance at home, having now won 17 out of their last 20 ODIs, as they recorded a second bilateral ODI ... Read more

Bangladesh wins final-over thriller in Brisbane

Sports Desk : Bangladesh got back on track in the Twenty20 World Cup on Sunday when they beat Zimbabwe in a thrilling last-ball win. Opener Najmul Shanto’s first half-century and Taskin Ahmed’s three wickets helped them win. Shanto’s 71 helped Bangladesh get to 150-7 at Brisbane Gabba ground in a game that came down ... Read more

Tigers can become very good T20 side in future: Sriram

Sports Desk : Despite their mixed fortunes in the ongoing T20 World Cup, Bangladesh’s technical consultant, Sridharan Sriram, believes the Tigers have the potential to become a very good T20 side in the future. The Tigers entered the tournament with their only win in the main draw of the 2007 Twenty20 World Cup against ... Read more

Tigers suffer their worst-ever loss in T20Is to SA

Batters surrender against their opponent Sports Desk : Bangladesh’s batting was no match for their counterpart South Africa, which led to a massive loss for the Tigers by 104 runs at the Sydney Cricket Ground today in the two teams’ second Super 12 fixture of the T20 World Cup. Chasing a daunting 206, Bangladesh ... Read more

Taskin leads Bangladesh to 9-run win over Netherlands

Sports Desk : Bangladesh began their T20 World Cup campaign on a high note today, defeating the Netherlands by 9 runs at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart. The Dutch were all out for 135 after 20 overs, in reply to Bangladesh’s 144 for eight after 20 overs. The result is historic from Bangladesh’s perspective ... Read more

Tamim to attend Brazil’s match against Serbia at FIFA WC

Sports Desk: Tamim Iqbal, captain of the Bangladesh ODI team, will attend the FIFA World Cup match between Brazil and Serbia. Tamim told The Daily Star he was gifted the tickets. Brazil plays Serbia on November 24 at Qatar’s Lusail Stadium. The FIFA World Cup attracts interest from around the world, and seeing Neymar ... Read more

Netherlands become Tigers’ first opponent

Sports Desk: Bangladesh may start analyzing the Netherlands after Group A qualification ended yesterday. The Tigers will face the Dutch on October 24 in Hobart. Despite losing by 16 runs against Sri Lanka, the Dutch are in the Super 12s as runners-up behind the Lankans after UAE beat Namibia by seven runs on Thursday. ... Read more

West Indies ousted, Ireland reaches Super 12

Sports Desk: Veteran opener Paul Stirling smashed an unbeaten 66 to propel Ireland into the Twenty20 World Cup Super 12 and eliminate two-time champions West Indies in a shocking upset on Friday. Gareth Delany took a career-best 3-16 to reduce the Caribbeans to 146-5 before the Irish reached their goal with 15 balls to ... Read more

Shakib reclaims the top all-rounder ranking

Sports Desk : Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan will enter the ICC T20 World Cup on top of the world after he was elevated to the No.1 spot for all-rounders on the latest MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I Player Rankings. Shakib claimed top billing on the back of an excellent tri-series against New Zealand ... Read more

No more opening slot experiments: chief selector

Sports Desk : Bangladesh national cricket team chief selector Minhajul Abedin reassured that the team management wouldn’t experiment further with the opening slot during the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia. Bangladesh are scheduled to start their campaign in the Super 12 round on October 24 in Hobart against the Group A runners-up from ... Read more

Pakistan win tri-series final, sends T20 World Cup warning

Sports Desk : Mohammad Nawaz, an all-rounder, helped Pakistan defeat New Zealand by five wickets on Friday to win the tri-series Twenty20 final in Christchurch with three balls remaining. After the hosts finished on 163-7 at Hagley Oval, spinner Michael Bracewell checked Pakistan’s early momentum in the tourists’ reply, before Nawaz stepped up with ... Read more

Rain ends Bangladesh’s title defence

Sports Desk : Rain ended hosts Bangladesh’s chance of qualifying for the semi-final of the eighth Asia Cup as their match against the UAE was washed out in Sylhet on Tuesday. The wash-out meant Thailand moved to the semi-final for the first time in history with six points collected from as many matches earlier ... Read more

Bangladesh defeated by SL in thriller

Sports Desk : India and Sri Lanka advanced to the eighth Women’s Asia Cup semi-finals after defeating Thailand and the host Bangladesh, on a rain-hampered day in Sylhet on Monday. Pakistan joined them in the semi-final as well because both teams have eight points and are tied for second position with Sri Lanka. Bangladesh ... Read more

Conway leads New Zealand to victory against Bangladesh

Sports Desk : In the third game of the tri-nation series, played on Sunday in Christchurch, opening batsman Devon Conway led New Zealand to an eight-wicket victory over Bangladesh. The left-handed batter smashed six fours and a six as the hosts chased down Bangladesh’s total of 137 with 13 balls to spare, in the ... Read more

Bangladesh utterly defeated by India

Sports Desk : India recovered from a shocking loss to Pakistan to defeat hosts Bangladesh by 59 runs on Saturday in Sylhet, effectively securing a spot in the semifinals of the eighth Women’s Asia Cup. India has eight points after winning four of its last five games, with one more match to play in ... Read more

Tigers hope to improve against Kiwis

Sports Desk : When Bangladesh plays New Zealand in today’s second game of the ongoing tri-nation series in Christchurch, they will be trying to get back on track. The game will start at noon (12:00pm). The match will be broadcast live on T Sports and in Bangladesh Standard Time. Bangladesh, which lost to Pakistan ... Read more

Dona Ganguly diagnosed with chikungunya

Sports Desk : Dona Ganguly, wife of Sourav Ganguly, President of The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was admitted to a private hospital in Kolkata on Tuesday after being diagnosed with chikungunya. As per reports, she was rushed to Woodlands hospital after showing symptoms of the virus. The acclaimed Indian Odissi ... Read more

Nepalese cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane is in custody for rape

Sports Desk : Sandeep Lamichhane, a former captain for Nepal, returned home on Thursday (October 6) to defend himself against rape allegations made against him about a month ago. Lamichhane, who has denied all the allegations, was immediately arrested, according to Dinesh Raj Mainali, a spokeswoman for Kathmandu District Police, spoke to AFP news ... Read more