Champions Trophy: Mashrafe Mortaza promises better cricket if Bangladesh enter semis

Champions Trophy: Mashrafe Mortaza promises better cricket if Bangladesh enter semis

Champions Trophy: Mashrafe Mortaza promises better cricket if Bangladesh enter semis

Cardiff has again been good to Bangladesh.

Bangladesh are now reliant on the result of next group clash between Australia and hosts England at Edgbaston if they are to secure a place in the semi-final on June 15.

The loss followed a washed-out match against Australia and an 87-run loss to England. Shakib had got to his hundred by hooking the ball over fine-leg. A slightly shell-shocked Kane Williamson called them "unbelievable knocks".

The loser of Friday's Group A match at Sophia Gardens will be out of the tournament. But Rubel spoiled their plans by claiming Guptill with the fourth ball he bowled to the batsman.

"To be honest at that time, it was very hard", he said. "They've done it a lot of other times, but it was phenomenal to get a 200 partnership". That's exactly what happened today.

Mahmudullah and Mosaddek mopped up the remaining runs to complete an unforgettable win for Bangladesh. "Bangladesh, Bangladesh", rang around this corner of Cardiff.

The match was turned on its head by centuries from Shakib and Mahmudullah. This was another statement.

When Mushfiqur Rahim was bowled by Adam Milne for 14 with the score on 33, it appeared there would not be much hope for Bangladesh.

"We have beaten their strongest team at home (in Bangladesh) but maybe not so strong in Ireland", Tamim told reporters in Cardiff on Wednesday.

"There was nothing in my mind at that time", Shakib said of the parlous scoreline he faced. Corey Anderson and Jimmy Neesham are good bowlers but they aren't exactly the types to run through batting line-ups; as a Bangladeshi, however, I am not complaining!

"We have to beat England and then I think we're through".

Electing to bat, The Kiwis began at a brisk pace with Martin Guptill (33, 35b, 4×4, 1×6) and Luke Ronchi (16, 18b, 2×4) finding the boundaries quite easily.

A Herculean partnership of 234, easily Bangladesh's biggest for any wicket in ODI's, between Shakib Al Hasan (114) and Mahmadullah (102 not out) gave the tournament underdogs a chance at a semi-final berth.

From Bangladesh, Mosaddek Hossain was the pick of the bowlers with 3 wickets.

Mashrafe picked out Mosaddek's brief but starring role.

Back to this game, an historic one for Bangladesh. "He's a youngster and can also bat really well".

And if there has been a captain of the tournament so far, it has to be, not Williamson, nor Eoin Morgan, although he can assume the title if he engineers an England victory over Australia, nor Sarfraz Ahmed though he has pumped life back into Pakistan, nor even the most illustrious Virat Kohli, but Bangladesh's Mashrafe Mortaza.

"This sort of performance will really help us to move forward, especially with the 2019 World Cup (in England) coming up".

This was a glorious day for Bangladesh.

However, rain is forecast, meaning Australia could exit without playing a game. The Kiwis had tasted defeat against the latter in a tri-series, also involving Ireland, few days prior to the tournament and would have been wary of their opposition going into the must-win encounter.

"Our best game was one [rained off] we weren't able to finish against Australia". The scoreboard might eventually show that Williamson was run-out, but I think Shakib had a part to play in that dismissal, because his tightness through the middle overs forced New Zealand to look elsewhere for run-scoring options.

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