BIRMINGHAM: Bangladesh would not be hoisting the World Cup trophy on July 14 but they will be remembered as the darlings of this tournament for the value they brought in terms of entertainment and fight.
They were knocked out of the 12th Edition by a superior team in India but at times kept the busy streets of Mumbai quiet, as they fought down to the wire. Chasing 315 runs for victory, they batted bravely to get to 286 all out – losing the match by 29 runs with two overs unused.
The indefatigable Shakib Al Hasan was another half-century gave the Indians a good work out but in the end they needed someone to go on to triple figures to get to the promised land. It was not to be although seven of their batsmen went past 20. It was the wizardry of Jasprit Bumrah who knocked the stuffing out of their chase to leave them unhappy.
The man who walks half of his ‘run-up’ then takes a few steps to deliver his endless supplies of yorkers, needed two balls to end a late burst orchestrated by Mohammad Saffudin and just like that India was into the semis of the tournament.
Shakib had kept interest in the game for the tigers and when Hardik Pandya sent him back for 66, the end looked near. The batting mainstay faced 74 deliveries and struck six of them to the boundary. Pandya holding bowler role used the slower ball to good effect in grabbing three wickets.
Saiffudin and Shabir Rahman added 66 runs from 55 balls for the seventh wicket to silenced the Bharat Army but Bumrah was too good. His 4/55 from his 10-over allotment continued to underline his reputation as one of the best in the instant format of the game.
Earlier, Rohit Sharma made the Bangla boys pay dearly for dropping him earlier on as he motored to his fourth century at this edition – joining Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara as the most at a single World Cup. He was very good after his let off and together with KL Rahul posted 160 runs for the first wicket. In fact, the Indians fell away towards the back end of their innings and their eventual 314/9 represented a fightback by the opposition. Sharma faced 92 balls hitting seven fours and five sixes. Rahul made 77 off 92 balls with six fours and one six.
Also good at the top of the order was the ‘shot gun’ Rishbh Pant who made 48 off 61 balls with six fours and a six.
Mustafizur Rahman was the man pulling them back and ended with 5/59.