From Boys to Men

Atif Azam

19 May, 2019 12:00 AM printer

From Boys to Men

Bangladesh finally brushed off their recently adopted title of ‘Chokers’ as they clinched their maiden ODI multi-nation tournament on their seventh attempt by earning a 5-wicket victory over West Indies at Dublin on Friday.

Bangladesh carved their name on the pages of history by earning their first ODI win against Kenya on May 17, 1998 and exactly 21 years later, they touched yet another milestone clinching their maiden championship in a multi-nation tournament.

The champions reached 213 runs losing 5 wickets in 22.5 overs after a revised target of 210 in 24 overs was set by D/L method in rain-curtailed final against West Indies, but not without passing some tense moment in dressing room.

Soumya Sarkar and Mosaddek Hossain played key roles to script the historic win and broke the final hoodoo despite a flurry of wickets in the middle overs and West Indies threatening to turn the tide, it wasn’t impossible with Bangladesh’s history of choking in finals.

A major trophy remained elusive for Bangladesh for quite some time as they failed to clinch any trophy despite reaching the final in six occasions during the last 10 years.

Bangladesh had their first major heartbreak when they failed to cross the last hurdle during their appearance in the first tri-nation final in 2009 involving Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.

Bangladesh’s second heartbreak was against Pakistan in the Asia Cup 2012 while four years later Bangladesh lost to India in Asia Cup Twenty20 final.

2018 seemed to be the most disappointing year for them as they lost final on three occasions as they lost the Tri-Nation series final against Sri-Lanka in January, Zimbabwe and followed that by losing against India in the Nidahas Trophy final. Bangladesh lost the Asia Cup final in 2018 forcing them to earn the choker tag.

Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza believes this is just the beginning for them and hoped they carry on forward from now onwards leaving behind the disappointments of the past.

“Yes! Obviously it is a great feeling,” said Mashrafe, who already announced that he is playing his last World Cup and looking to leave a legacy behind him.

“Hopefully it is just the start and we will continue (in this manner in the future),” he said.

“It’s been a long time we didn’t win (any final) but eventually we won it on the seventh time,” he said adding that it was an all-out team effort.

“It’s totally team work,” he said.

“The wicket was really good and when we bowled we understood it was favoring the batsmen. Tamim and Soumya gave us a really good start, Mushfiqur batted really well in the middle while Mosaddek and Riyad finished it really well,” he added.

While they removed chokers tag in style, the performance also helped them complete their last preparation for the ICC World Cup 2019 with a huge amount of confidence under their belt.

The way Bangladesh batsman played throughout the tournament indicated that they won’t shy away from trying to score heavily when they reach England for the upcoming ICC World Cup.

Bangladesh, who traditionally have been very strong at home, is said to be lacking hitting powers unlike some of the other cricketing nations. This specific area is considered to be of major concern for them in the upcoming global tournament.

However, Mashrafe looked optimistic about their chances in the competition through putting up a consistent batting display and take up the challenge in the tri-nation final.

“The World Cup will be really challenging for us,” said Mashrafe.

“These tough wins will really give us a big boost and we will be confident chasing or putting up big totals,” he said.