Wednesday, 01 Dec, 2021


ICC World Cup 2021

Better Team Of The Day Scotland Win

Saleque Sufi |
Update: 2021-10-18 11:56:28
Better Team Of The Day Scotland Win [photo collected]

Qualifying Round: Bangladesh VS Scotland 
Brief Scorecard: 
Scotland 140/9 (Chris Graves 45, George Munsey 29, Mahedi Hasan 3/19, Shakib Al Hasan 2/17, Mustafizur Rahman 2/32) beat Bangladesh 134/7 (Mushfiqur Rahim 38, Mahmudullah Riad 23, Shakib Al Hasan 20 Brad Wheal 3/24, Chris Greaves 2/19) 
Scotland Won by 6 runs
Player Of The Match: Chris Greaves 

Bangladesh mission ICC T20 World Cup 2021 started in disappointment losing to ICC associate member Scotland. 

Many would call it an upset. But to me it is not a surprise. Definitely Scotland playing far superior cricket deservedly won the match yesterday. Bangladesh ranked at 6 in ICC T20 ranking and associate membership of Scotland were of secondary consideration. The team that can recover from 53/6 in scoring 140/9 did not deserve losing. The momentum was with Scotland and that momentum they did not lose when they defended executing their plans clinically.
Bangladesh failed to chase the target, as they really did not prepare the team properly for the world cup. The top order batting was always suspected. Playing on low slow turning track at home did not let the batsmen prepare well. Even after all these batsmen like Shakib, Mushfique, Mahmudullah getting start and not steering the team past the target of 141 was shocking. The three seniors together batting for 86 deliveries contributed 81. Playing Taskin on a sluggish wicket was a mistake. He leaked too many runs in the slog over which made the difference. 

I would not question team formation too much. But the reason for not playing Naim can be discussed. Even then whatever team was formed Bangladesh should blame batting most for their shocking defeat.  Scotland could recover from 53/6 riding on smart batting of a rookie Chris Greaves attacking 45. But vastly experienced Shakib, Mushfique and Mahmudullah could not navigate the ship across the tidal sea to the shore? Greaves with his quickish leg spin removed Shakib and Mushfique at critical juncture. The inexperience of Bangladesh batting against leg spin got exposed. Losing the match Bangladesh is now in lot of bother. They have now two must win games against home team Oman and Papua New Guinea. 

Bangladesh came to the match losing two matches back-to-back against Sri Lanka and Ireland. Scotland on the other hand won all matches in Oman leading up to the match yesterday. It was the second T20 match between the teams and Bangladesh lost both of them.

I was a bit surprised looking at the team formed. Even then playing Naim or Nasum would not have much of a difference in the manner the match was played. Mahmudullah winning the toss did it right letting Scotland bat. Taskin Mustafiz and Saifuddin bowled reasonably well in the first power play. Shakib and Mehedi were introduced after power play and they immediately rocked Scotland. They looked tottering at 53/6. The weakness of Scottish batsmen against spin was exposed. Mahmudullah could have bowled Taskin out before the last power play saving Mustafiz and Saifuddin. Greaves playing only in his second match played carefree brave cricket adding priceless 51 runs for the 7th wicket partnership with Mark Watt. It was sad that Mahmudullah was not fit enough to bowl few overs. Soumya could be given a over or two. We can talk all these in the hind sight as excuses. But we must give due credit to Scotland for getting up to a competitive score of 140/9.

What was Bangladesh batting plan for hunting down the target? Liton and Soumya got blown away as expected. Shakib did not much batting at IPL 2021. At number 3 he took too much time to set his bearing. Even then Shakib and Mushfique adding 47 of 7.4 overs somehow steadied the rocking boat. Why Mahmudullah, Afif and Sohan could not do what Graves and Watt did in Scotland innings? Brad Wheat taking (3/24) and Greaves (2/19) did the damage. Afif survived a dropped catch and scored 18 in 12 balls. Mahmudullah looked rusty. His 22 balls 23 was not the batting that was fitting to the occasion. Bangladesh lost by 6 runs making its qualification mission messy.

All is not lost yet for Bangladesh. They should win their remaining two matches. There is no panic. It was good sign that Mushfique has started getting runs. Sooner or later Shakib would also deliver with the bat. He is now the highest wicket taker anyway in T20 overtaking Lasith Malinga. I am sure he would have loved to crown the occasion with a win. We can only atone for the mistakes. Let us not lose the focus. The match against Oman may not be easy. Hope the shallow vision BCB bosses would understand the hard reality that a world cup mission needs better planning. 

BDST: 1154 HRS, OCT 18, 2021

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