Fairytales do happen in life, isn’t it?
Well, those who do not believe in this should look at Bangladesh’s campaign in this ICC Champions Trophy.
On June 15 at Edgbaston, the Tigers will be playing the most important match in their cricketing history – first ever semi-final in a global tournament.
A fortnight back, who would have thought about this?
Despite the Tigers taking some rapid strides in international cricket in last couple of years, coming into the Champions Trophy, very few people would have given them a chance, primarily because of the English conditions, where they are playing international cricket after a gap of seven long years and the tough group, which had teams like England, Australia and New Zealand.
But defying all odds, Mashrafe Mortaza’s boys have done it. Obviously they had their fair share of luck, but it is part and parcel of sport.
Currently, Bangladesh’s fortunes too showing similar signs.
After being outclassed by England in the opening game, Bangladesh seemed down and out. In the next fixture, they were heading towards a certain defeat against Australia. Steven Smith and co. needed only four more overs to bat to secure a victory. But rain gods came to Bangladesh’s rescue and that was the turning point of their fortunes.
They needed to beat New Zealand to keep their hopes alive for the final four stages. Chasing 266 to win on a Cardiff wicket, which was more suited to the New Zealand pace attack, Bangladesh at one point time were tottering at 33 for 4 – who would have given Bangladesh a chance at that point of time?
But as they say, fortunes favour the brave, and for the Tigers, there were two braves out there – Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah. The Kiwis could not find any answer to the resistance of this pair, which shared an all-time record partnership for the country in One-Day International (ODI) cricket to take the team home and finally England obliged them by beating the Aussies.
Bangladesh’s road to the semis seems like a perfectly written Bollywood script, isn’t it?
Now the Tigers will meet the either India or South Africa in their quest to glory. Yes, they will be underdogs, but no one can count them out now.
Many cricket enthusiasts have started to associate this Bangladesh campaign with the one Pakistan had in 1992 World Cup. But the question is, can Mortaza’s team achieve what Imran Khan’s boys did in Australia-New Zealand?
Well, I will just say, expect the unexpected.