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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Thank you, Bangladesh

Bangladesh' stunning upset victory over South Africa has breathed some much needed life into the World Cup.
Needing 252 to win, the Protea innings folded for just 184, in spite of a valiant attempt by Herschelle Gibbs who came in only at no.7 as he was battling a calf-strain. Earlier in the day, Bangladesh amassed a fighting score of 251 after they got off to a rather sluggish start coupled with loss of early wickets. It was Ashraful's knock of 87, the highest by a Bangladeshi batsman in this World Cup, which was chiefly responsible for the score crossing the important 250 mark. After making a safe start, Ashraful played some real cheeky shots in the fine leg area to raise the tempo in the last 7 overs. Mashrafe Mortaza provided him ample support, himself scoring 3 boundaries and a six.
South Africa's capitulation on a deteriorating pitch in Guyana may not raise Bangladesh' hope of qualifying to the semi-final, but it has certainly opened up the competition a bit. The statisticians in the West Indies, England and Sri Lanka camps will be furiously working on their calculators to assess the situation in the light of this new development. The World Cup needed something spectacular to lift up the spirits, and this may just be it. Thank you, Bangladesh.

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