Young players step up for Bangladesh in Asia Cup
DHAKA, Sept 18, 2023 (BSS)-Amid the rain interruption, the Asia Cup finally
ended after India clinched the trophy for the eighth time in a lopsided
contest against co-host Sri Lanka.
The final match was also interrupted by rain but when it started India
bowlers, led by Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj ran Sri Lanka ragged to
dismiss them for only 50 runs in 15.2 overs and eventually led the side to a
While this 10-wicket defeat was utterly embarrassing for Sri Lanka in front
of their home crowd, one team also rued for not putting up the performance
they expected. Bangladesh were the team, which came here with high
expectation. In the recent time, though the Tigers' performance was not
praiseworthy, they wanted a mental boost through the tournament for the World
But at the end, their performance was mix-bagged. It could have been tagged
as worst easily had they not beat India in the last game of the Super Four
A total of six teams, split into two groups, took part in the tournament,
which was initially supposed to be hosted by Pakistan alone. But the
political turmoil between Pakistan and India forced the tournament to be held
in hybrid model for the first time. Most of the matches including final was
held in Sri Lanka.
The schedule of the tournament was such that there was possibility of India
vs Pakistan clash for thrice including the final. But the aspiration of the
organizers was not fulfilled as Pakistan failed to make it final. Rather they
finished last in the Super Four phase.
As it expectedly Pakistan and India moved to the Super Four from their group,
which also involved minnow Nepal. But the other group was a real death group
from where Bangladesh and Sri Lanka finally moved up.
Coming as favourite, Bangladesh tasted a five-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka, a
defeat that left their promotion in Super Four in limbo. However they showed
a spirited performance in the second match against Afghanistan, positing a
334-5, which was their highest total on foreign soil. Afghanistan were able
to put up 245 as Bangladesh secured a 89-run victory to confirm their Super
Later, Sri Lanka beat Afghanistan to join Bangladesh. However Bangladesh
hardly find their rhythm in the Super Four until the game against India. In
the first match against Pakistan, their shortcomings of playing the genuine
pace was widely exposed as Pakistan thrashed them by seven wickets and later
Sri Lanka beat them by 21 runs in a spicy wicket. On both matches,
Bangladesh's batters failed to prop up their game.
Shakib returns to form
When Bangladesh take on India in their last game, their final hope was
completely ruined. But India which had already confirmed the final, decided
to make experiment as it was norms. India brought up five changes to the team
but Bangladesh also made six changes and handed debut to pacer Tanzim Hasan
Skipper Shakib Al Hasan truly lived up to his credential in this match as he
made 80 with the willow to give Bangladesh a competitive total (265-8) and
later his own bowling and intelligent bowling changes meant India were all
out for 259. Debutant Sakib gave the side a good start, taking Rohit Sharma
out for duck in the second ball of the chase. And that proved to be deceive
Shanto injury hurt Bangladesh
Bangladesh's mission Asia Cup was jeopardized by injury and absences of key
players. Tamim Iqbal was ruled out before the tournament and Liton Das
suffered from illness. Bangladesh later received the massive blow when their
most inform batter Najmul Hossain Shanto got injured and returned to the
Shanto scored 89 runs against Sri Lanka and then followed it with 104 against
Afghanistan. Such was his impact that Bangladesh found no suitable batter in
No.3 position. And such was his impact that he was the Bangladesh best
batsman in the tournament, playing just two matches in which he made 193.
Shakib Al Hasan was second to him with 173 runs in five matches while Mehidy
Hasan Miraz with 158 was the other batter to score over 150 runs.
Young players step up
But still Bangladesh avoided the shamble, largely thanks to young players,
specially the former Under-19 World Cup winning players. Towhid Hridoy,
Tanzim Hasan Sakib who were the part of that team, shone brightly with Hridoy
making two half-centuries. His two fifties came at a moment when the critics
lashed at him saying that he is the player for big stage. He then responded
with a 85-run against Sri Lanka to single-handedly drive the side to almost a
victory and then scored crucial 54 against India. Sakib meanwhile made a
dream debut with 2-32 and his handed Rohit Sharma a second-ball duck which
was instrumental in Bangladesh's six-run victory.
Taskin, Shorfiul form a formidable new ball pair
Taskin Ahmed and Shoriful Islam didn't play the last game of Bangladesh
against India. But still they were highest wicket-takers for Bangladesh. The
new ball pair took 16 wickets in combined with Taskin taking nine wickets in
five matches and Shoriful grabbing seven wickets in four matches. That stat
itself proved how formidable duo they can be in World Cup.