Bangladesh cruised to what turned out to be one of the more comfortable wins of the World Cup when they beat Netherlands at the ZAC Stadium in Chittagong by six wickets. Bangladesh made 166/4 in 41.2 overs with Imrul Kayes being declared the man of the match.
There were a couple of unnecessary wickets that Bangladesh threw away in the end, but the initial batting of Imrul Kayes and Junaid Siddique had done enough to assure them of the win.
Tamim Iqbal departed early in the innings of their chase of 161 when he was bowled by Mudassar Bukhari for a duck. However, the batting of Kayes and Siddique was like a soothing balm for the side which needed to win this to get to the quarter-finals.
Siddique departed for a well-made 35 while Kayes scored an unbeaten 73 to guide the team to the win. There was a sterling contribution of 37 by Shahriar Nafees that went a long way in stalling the possibility of a collapse.
In the final analysis, Netherlands should have got to much more than what they finally did. On a track that had not spun too much, apart from the first few overs, the Netherlands should have had it easy. And yet, some poor running between the wickets, brought about some frustrating batting by Netherlands meant that the Dutch were bowled out for 160 in 46.2 overs.
That the Netherlands side did not bat their full quota of 50 overs told a story by itself. There were starts for many of the batsmen but they took so much time to settle down that by the time it was the turn to accelerate the frustration took the better of them.
After Wesley Barresi had been declared lbw for 10 and a strange decision to bat tail-ender Mudassar Bukhari up the order had backfired, Eric Szwarczynski and Tom Cooper took the score to 66/2 in the 23rd over.
One would have thought that with the starts that both the batsmen got, it would have made sense for both of them to go on to get a big one. Instead, this was the start of the end for the Dutch batting.
Szwarczynski ran himself out at the non-striker’s end while Cooper followed him soon after, run-out again after being dropped by the wicket-keeper.
There were a few runs added by Alexei Kervezee and Ryan ten Doeschate but once the former had played one of the more uncalled for stroke of the game and was stumped, the rest of the batting just capitulated and were bowled out.
Ten Doeschate scored a half-century and remained unbeaten till the end.
This win takes Bangladesh to six points from five games. They have one more game to play against the South African side at the Shere Bangla Stadium in Mirpur and if they win that one as well, they will be through to the quarter-finals.
However, if Bangladesh lose that game, then, they will need to either hope that West Indies beat England or that West Indies can lose all their remaining games and go below Bangladesh on the net run-rate.
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