As the calendar is set to flip to 2018 with the crazy cricket fans anxiously awaiting new stories for their favorite cricket team and superstars, it’s time to look back and review the biggest moments of Bangladesh cricket team from the Daily Sun over the last twelve months.
It was a roller-coaster ride for country’s cricket fans this year as Bangladesh cricketers have enjoyed and endured 2017 in near equal measure.
Shakib-Mushfiq’s incredible stand in New Zealand, Tigers’ first ever Test match in India, Tigers’ memorable Test win in 100th Test, Shakib-Riyad’s breathtaking innings in Champions Trophy, Rangpur’s first ever BPL glory and Bangladesh’s first ever Test win against Aussies that made us happy, made us excited, and yes, even made us ‘mark out’ just a little bit.
It’s hard to pick what are the most important stories of Bangladesh cricket in 2017 because there are so many to choose from. With 2017 just a few hours away and the New Year fast approaching, the Daily Sun has come up to pinpoint Tigers’ most memorable things from the past tweleve months for a special end-of-year list.’
Record breaking Shakib, Mushfiq make a day to remember
The year dawned with the Bangladesh T20 team in the process of being terribly defeated in the series against New Zealand by a 3-0 margin.
Bangladesh with the tag “no longer the whipping boys of world cricket”, arrived on New Zealand backyard in December 2016 after seven long years and they had a torrid time in three-ODIs as they lost all three matches in humiliating fashion which was held from December 26 to 31.
The visitors Bangladesh were remained winless before starting Test and were so susceptible in New Zealand wicket before the Test series.Their morale dented after losing in a row. So Bangladesh Test team led by Mushfiqur Rahim was desperate enough to put in a last gasp salvaging effort.
The tourists side might have lost the first Test to New Zealand at Basin Reserve in Wellington back in January second week, but it’s likely that only Kiwis will remember that. For everyone else, it was a match defined by Shakib-Mushfiq’s record-breaking stand.
It was a day of records and near-records at Basin Reserve and Bangladesh’s batting finally came good in spectacular fashion, thanks to all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim. The duo towered above all on the second day of the two match Test series opener in an epic Friday of cricket where several records were shattered.
Bangladesh were climbing mountain at 542-7 at the close of the second day in their first innings after Shakib and his captain Mushfiqur posted the country’s highest partnership for any wicket: an epic 359, leaving the home team facing an uphill task to save the match.
The mighty record-breaking fifth wicket partnership was broken by powerless Trent Boult when Mushfiq lost his concentration and was promptly caught by Watling behind the stumps for 159.
That joined lofty company as the world’s fourth-highest fifth-wicket stand, as Shakib rumbled onwards to 217, his country’s highest individual score.
They set all sorts of records in the course of their stand. When Mushfiqur was out at 159 late in the day, the stand trailed only three partnerships in all history for the fifth wicket.
Top of that tree sits the legendary Don Bradman and Sid Barnes, for their 405 for Australia against England in Sydney in 1946. The way the Bangladeshi pair were going, they seemed a strong chance to topple the Australians.
The stand is the highest for any wicket for Bangladesh, is the highest fifth wicket stand in all Tests in New Zealand, and helped Bangladesh to their highest first innings effort in an overseas test.
However Tigers’ memorable Test win hopes were dashed with their familiar second innings collapse after Blackcaps finished their first innings at 539. The result could have different if Bangladesh had some answer in their second innings.
Mushfiq highlighted in Bangladesh’ first ever Test in India
It has been more than 16 years since Bangladesh got Test status, but this was the first time Bangladesh played a Test in India last February and Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad will be remembered for a landmark Test.
Bangladesh saw a crushing defeat in the only Test match but the only player to come out of the landmark Test with some credit was captain Mushfiqur Rahim, who struck a memorable hundred in the first innings, and Shakib Al Hasan scored 82.
The landmark Test between India and Bangladesh was a match to forget for Mushfiqur Rahim after the Bangladesh wicket-keeper’s woeful performance with gloves was singled out as one of reasons for hosts India’s imposing total in their first Innings.
Enjoying a life on 4 by Mushfiqur, Indian batsman Wriddhiman Saha made a strong comeback making full use of the opportunity and registered a fluent century in style. India finally declared their marathon first innings on 687 for 6 where Saha and Ravindra Jadeja (60) added an unbroken 118 for the seventh wicket.
An impactful tour in Sri Lanka, Mashrafe’s last int’l T20 appearance
Bangladesh toured Sri Lanka in March with a full-length series which included two Tests, three ODIs and two T20s where Bangladesh shared the trophy in all three formats of the series.
A starless Sri Lanka had nothing to show beside the only Test victory. Sri Lanka’s problems were many. Losing three greats – Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Tilkaratne Dilshan — after their retirement and the absence of Angelo Mathews and Lasith Malinga, the 1996 World Cup champions looked so wounded in last couple international series at home and abroad with a bunch of young guns.
In many ways it was a series to remember for Bangladesh cricket team not only their 100th win but also their leader Mashrafe’s shocking retirement from T20 cricket.
Playing 100th Test match is always a good feeling for any cricket-mad nation and getting a draw is incredible in such landmark Test. But a four wicket win in the 100th Test is hardly a dream for a cricket nation who are playing Test for only 17 years.
On Sunday, March 19, the brave Bangladesh cricket team lived this dream against Sri Lanka, and in abroad, was even more impressive.
The stunning four-wicket victory not only added a glorious chapter to Bangladesh’s cricketing history but also made compensation for the team’s humiliating 259-run defeat in the first Test match.
Did anyone predict that we would hear Mashrafe Mortaza’s retirement from T20 cricket in the ongoing Sri Lanka series? Probably not. But that’s exactly what happened when Bangladesh’s best ever captain surprisingly announced his retirement from the shortest format of the game after the end of T20 series. The shocking decision came just before the start of the first T20.
The sudden retirement of Mashrafe has left cricket in a state of shock and many Mashrafe fans could not believe they will no longer see their star in such exciting cricketing format.
After surviving Test and ODI series by 1-1 draw, the visitors Bangladesh were determined to seal two-match T20 series under the leadership of Mahrafe but they had a wobble start with a six-wicket defeat in first T20.
All eyes were on Mashrafe in the final T20 against Sri Lanka as Bangladesh were fiercely determined to give their limited over skipper a fitting T20 farewell with a series-leveling victory in the series decider final T20.
Visitors Bangladesh somehow gave their captain the perfect send off from 20-over cricket when they outplayed Sri Lanka by 45 runs in the final T20 in R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo to square the T20 series by 1-1.
Mashrafe is still a great performer in T20 formats as he proved it recently concluded BPL 2017 and Rangpur Riders clinched their first ever BPL trophy under Mashrafe’s leadership. It was Mahrafe’s fourth BPL title. Unfortunately Bangladesh lost a genuine T20 fighter when Bangladesh needed him most to improve their dismal T20 records.
The 33-year-old, the mentor of the reform Bangladesh cricket team, who already retired from Test cricket in July 2009, is now available only for one-day internationals as captain.
Tigers’ dazzling return in Champions Trophy
England and Wales this year welcomed back the ICC Champions Trophy in June in its eighth edition with top eight cricketing nations’ involving after a break of four years.
And the emerging Tigers participated in the trophy after a decade break. They last played in the series in 2006 under the captaincy of Habibul Bashar.
Did anyone assume that Bangladesh would book the semi-final ticket of the ICC event when Bangladesh were drawn alongside the top three nations of world cricket – Australia, New Zealand and England? Probably not.
A crazy loss in the opener against England, a non-result against Australia due to rain, an unbelievable win against strong New Zealand and then through to semis. Tigers were the hottest ticket at the ICC Champions Trophy.
Shakib Al Hasan, left, fist bumps Mahmudullah Riyad after a shot on the way to their record breaking partnership against New Zealand on June 9.
At one stage Bangladesh faced the prospect of an early exit from the tournament after a crushing defeat to England and a washout match against Australia. And they had a do-or-die situation or a battle of survival against New Zealand in their last leg match.
Bangladesh showed that their win over New Zealand in the Tri-nation series in Ireland was no fluke as they battered the Kiwis in dominating fashion in their most important match of the tournament.
Blackcaps’ mood picked up as the Bangladeshis, set 265, slipped to 33 for four as a capacity 2000 crowd began to drift away.
But just when you thought Kiwis Champion Trophy could not get any more tortuous, Shakib (112) and Mahmudullah Riyad (102 not out) added a record 224-run stand to see the Tigers home with 16 balls to spare. The stand is the highest for any wicket in ODI cricket for Bangladesh.
That record-breaking fifth wicket stand countered by Shakib and Mahmudullah, that distorted the mood of the crowd, many of whom had started to drift home.
Tigers dream run in Champions Trophy however came to an end in a disaster fashion with a heavy defeat against arch-rival India in semi-final.
A Shakib-fueled Bangladesh’s historical Test win against Aussies
Before coming to analyse the two-match Test series between Bangladesh and Australia in August this year, we must back in 2015 where Australia were scheduled to play two Tests and a tour match in Dhaka and Chittagong in October, but the tour was postponed due to security concerns.
However after England toured the Asian nation late last year without incident, having been given an unprecedented level of security, Cricket Australia showed their interest to tour Bangladesh and the most-hyped two-match Test series was fixed to be held in August 2017.
Finally Australia came to play their first Test against Bangladesh since Ricky Ponting’s side toured the country in 2006.
Bangladesh and Shakib made the series a special one with their first ever Test match win in their first match with Shakib Al Hasan’s memorable all-round performance in his landmark Test.
Bangladesh cricketers express their joy after thumping Australia for the first time in a Test match on August 30.
Shakib may termed the 50th Test special for him, but it turned into a ‘very very special’ for the Bangladesh’s iconic all-rounder, as he has showcased a clinical stuff in his record-Test.
Shakib , the poster boy of Bangladesh cricket, was the star who grabbed 10 wickets with 85 run in an innings under pressure to help Tigers register a historic Test win, denying the Aussies and their hero David Warner a famous victory.
Hosts Bangladesh survived a last-ditch Australia fightback to complete a thrilling 20-run victory in the action-packed fourth day in the first Test match at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur.
Australia however survived one of their shameful series defeat scares in Test cricket history after Bangladeshi batting woes continued in the final Test in Chittagong.
Rangpur Riders wrap up maiden BPL title
The blockbuster Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) is generally known for the money involved and the stars that just try to hit every ball out of the park.
Rangpur Riders, one of the popular cricket sensations of the prestigious BPL T20, captured the coveted their maiden BPL 2017 trophy in dominating fashion in the grand finale this December.
‘T20 boss’ from West Indies Chris Gayle stole the show in the one-sided final against Dhaka Dynamites with a record-breaking century as Rangpur, under the care of Bashundhara Group, a world-class guidance by Tom Moody and star leadership of Mashrafe Mortaza, totally outclassed Dhaka by 57-runs.
But the road of Riders’ maiden BPL glory was not smooth. Despite importing plenty of superstars in their line-up, Rangpur had to struggle to confirm play-offs ticket with the most destructive pair on the earth Chris Gayle-Brendon McCullum. The duo continued misery with bat in league stage. Middle order familiarly collapsed, key bowlers like Malinga, Samuel Badree, Rubel were sidelined most of the matches due to injuries.
But the fantastic Mashrafe alongside Thisara Perera, Ravi Bopara, Mohammad Mithun, Sohag Gazi even Nazmul Islam Apu played key roles in Rangpur’s most of the victories.
In fact Rangpur and exciting finish were almost synonymous with each other throughout league stage. But they returned on track with flourish in playoffs stage, knocking Khulna and Comilla out from the tournament in qualifiers and then battered Dhaka to lift the trophy when their two important players — Gayle and McCullum played some delightful knock.
Head coach Chandika’s shocking resignation
The last three months of Bangladesh cricket was nothing more than nightmare with its national team’s South Africa tour fiasco in September, Saifuddin’s dismal ODI record with ball and then their head Coach Chandika Hathurusingha’s shocking resignation in November.
When Hathurusingha signed up to be head coach of Bangladesh in 2014, he was joining a side that had only won one Test this decade and had lost nearly two thirds of its one-day internationals.
In just over two year, the way Hathurusingha transformed Bangladesh cricket has been truly amazing.
Rangpur Riders players and officials jubilant after claiming their maiden Bangladesh Premier League T20 trophy on December 12.
Since 2014 under Chandika’s coaching, Bangladesh passed their most memorable cricketing year in 2015. Tigers continued their succession in 2016 as well under his guidance. Even the succession continued with the historical win against Australia and undoubtedly the successes were thanks in large part to Chandika. But every coin has another side.
With the morale of the Bangladesh team was at its lowest with recent miserable tour in South Africa, Hathurusingha, who was contracted with Bangladesh until the 2019 World Cup, shockingly resigned to take charge as Sri Lanka cricket coach, looking to replicate the success he found with Bangladesh.
What is the plan for 2018?
Tigers have a good chance to start their new year perfectly with the upcoming tri-nation series and bilateral Sri Lanka series at home turf.
But the most alarming thing is, Bangladesh will play their most of the matches in abroad. They are supposed to take part a tri-nation T20 tournament in Sri Lanka in March where India are the other rival. They will continue Sri Lanka tour for bilateral series after the tri-nation.
The 14th edition of the Asia Cup is scheduled to be held in June in India before Bangladesh tour to Australia and West Indies in July and August. They will end the year with a tour to New Zealand, and then a home series against Zimbabwe which is scheduled for 2017-18 as well.
Sports Highlights in 2017
January 16- January29
Tennis: Australian Open
Men: Roger Federer (Switzerland)
Women: Serena Williams (United States)
Indian Wells Masters
Men: Roger Federer (Switzerland)
Women: Elena Vesnina (Russia)
UEFA Europa League
Winner: Manchester United
ICC Champions Trophy
UEFA Champions League
Winner: Real Madrid
June 17 – July 2
FIFA Confederations Cup
June 26 – July 23
ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup
July 3 - July 16
Men: Roger Federer (Switzerland)
Women: Garbine Muguruza (Spain)
July 16 – August 6
UEFA Women’s Euro 2017
UEFA Super Cup
Winner: Real Madrid
August 28 – September 10
United States Open
Men: Rafael Nadal (Spain)
Women: Sloane Stephens (United States)
October 6 – October 28
FIFA U-17 World Cup
December 6 – December 16
FIFA Club World Cup
Winner: Real Madrid