Scotland upset Bangla Tigers
On the very first day of the mega event, as a perfect decoration for a world cup, there was an upset as Bangladesh lost to Scotland by 6 runs.
By -Vadiraj Kanakagiri
Winning the toss and bowling first, Bangladeshi bowlers continued from where they had left off at home against the Kiwis and the Aussies. After a decent start with the bat from Scottish batters, Skipper Mahmudullah unleashed his biggest weapon, the spin twins, right after the powerplay and reaped rewards, courtesy of an unbelievable collapse from the middle order.
After 7 overs, Scotland's score was 44 for 1 with two batters going good. In the next five overs though, Mehedi Hasan and Shakib Al Hasan ran through the middle order. They gave away just 11 runs in this period and picked up 5 wickets, which is literally half the side. The collapse was beyond belief but not the dominance from the spinners.
The game was firmly in control of the Tigers and they banked on Fizz to clean up the tail for a score below 100. But this is not a bilateral series. Things always don't follow a narrative. There was a miracle waiting to happen. And even one of the best in business, the Fizz, wasn't able to stop it.
Chris Greaves was at the crease with Mark Watt for the eighth wicket. With almost nobody expecting anything from them, they exploded. Greaves, who scored 45 off 28, came out of nowhere to torment the Bangla quicks. The Tigers didn't seem to have a gameplan for him, as they would've barely seen him play. The pair put on 49 for the seventh wicket and with the help of some lusty blows from the tail, Scotland rocketed to a score of 140. It was some turnaround.
With the momentum in their side, the Scottish bowlers had their tails up with the ball. They removed the established opening pair of Liton Das and Soumya Sarkar for not so many and controlled the powerplay. The experienced duo of Shakib and Mushfiqur, decided to take the game deep and batted slowly, thinking they could exploit the less experienced spinners in the middle overs.
But their plans took a turn for the worse, when Chris Greaves tormented them with the ball too. He, along with Watt, matched the consistency in line and length with their counterparts, and didn't let the batting pair get away with big hits. After trudging along for 20 off 28 deliveries, Shakib got out going for a big heave, caught in the deep pulling a long hop from Greaves. It just wasn't Shakib's day with the bat as it has been since the IPL.
When Greaves cleaned up Mushfiqur Rahim, their main stay at the crease, the wheels really began to come off from the Tigers. He, along with Shakib had chewed up deliveries, hoping to capitalise later. The incoming batters were never able to get away with the big hits.
With 37 needed off 3, Mark Watt bowled an extraordinary over and gave away just five and picked up a wicket. The game almost sealed in Scotland's favour unless there was a mighty big over in the last two. Brad Wheal put the final nail in the coffin in the nineteenth over, by picking up Mahmudullah. He gave away just 8 and picked up 2 wickets in the penultimate over, crushing any little hopes the Tigers might've had of a miracle.
With this loss, Bangladesh's chances of reaching the super 12 is already in jeopardy, as only one team can qualify from the group. If Scotland manage to beat PNG and Oman, which looks likely, they'll deservingly enter the next stage in the tournament ahead of the Bangladeshi Tigers.
Brief scores: Scotland 140/9 in 20 overs (Chris Greaves 45, George Munsey 29; Mahedi Hasan 3-19, Shakib Al Hasan 2-17) beat Bangladesh 134/7 in 20 overs (Mushfiqur Rahim 38; Bradley Wheal 3-24, Chris Greaves 2-19) by 6 runs.