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19 June, 2017 00:00 00 AM
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Tigers earn respect of cricket world

Curtain falls on Champions Trophy
Syed Mohammed Pithu from The Oval, London
Tigers earn respect of cricket world
Bangladesh wicket keeper Mushfiqur Rahim (C) walks off the pitch with his teammates after losing the ICC Champions Trophy semi-final cricket match to India at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Thursday. AFP PHOTO

The curtain of the ICC Champions Trophy fell yesterday with the grand final between the two traditional rivals India and Pakistan. The rivalry, considered as the most wanted battle in the cricket ground, in any global event may quench the heart of the cricket romantics, but it was Bangladesh who earned the respect of the cricket world.

Those who had some doubt about Bangladesh’s ability to thrive in the tournament, involving elite teams, now could take a note how giant progress the team made over the years. And moving into the semifinal stage of the Champions Trophy at the same time proved their qualify to the quarterfinal in the 2015 World Cup was not a fluke at all.
The expectation was high on Bangladesh despite they were drawn in the group along with Australia, England and New Zealand, a group considered as death group. Condition was alien to them and the opponents were expert in the condition, still the fans didn’t give up the hopes on Bangladesh. They had the sheer belief that Bangladesh still could find a way to make it last four stages. The prayer of the 18 million people couldn’t go in vain.
On the back of luck, pluck and superb performance they finally made it to the semifinal in what is considered as the biggest achievement of the country so far. They began the tournament frustratingly, being thrashed by pre-tournament favourite England by eight wickets despite amassing 305 runs on the board. But that score proved Bangladesh now have the ability to score over 300 at regular basis against any team of the world.
Against Australia it was all about frustration. However by the blessings of rain, they got one crucial point and luck started favouring them. Bangladesh needed a victory against New Zealand and Australia’s defeat against England. That exactly happened to propel them to the elite phase of the tournament.
In semifinal they got India and expectation was much higher than anticipation. However Bangladesh failed to live up to the expectation, being crushed to India by nine wickets. They made an exit following the defeat but won the heart of the cricket world as the former greats showered an enormous praise on the Bangladesh team by labeling them the team to watch in the 2019 World Cup in England.
Bangladesh’s exit widened the path of dream final of India and Pakistan, what to be honest still the cricket world wants to see. While India’s entry to the final wasn’t surprising anymore, Pakistan appeared as a surprise package. No one counted them because of their recent form and the rankings. They started with a 124-run defeat to India but turned the things around tremendously by beating South Africa, Sri Lanka and then red-hot favourite England to prove the pundits wrong.
Coming into the tournament for the first time as most favourite to win the title in any ICC event, England’s departure at their home ground before the final was disappointing. They got one bad day in office, that too in knock out stage and that cost them badly. The wicket in their semifinal match against Pakistan was slow like a typical subcontinent wicket what Pakistan exploited superbly to set up a path of upset victory. Whereas they won three straight matches in the group phase so convincingly that no one even could doubt that they wouldn’t make it final.
Like England, Australia also disappointed their fans. Their first two matches against New Zealand and Bangladesh were washed out with the Steven Smith-led side, were in the position of defeat and victory in those two matches respectively. Their game against England was a must-win game for them but they simply couldn’t rise on the occasion. New Zealand might get two points had the rain not washed out their game against Australia but apart from that they were not the team to make it last four stages.
As usually South Africa proved them the team related ‘C’ word again. Their defeat against Pakistan stunned them so much so that they couldn’t recover from that. Sri Lanka came here with low expectation but produced the biggest upset of the tournament to win against India by chasing a target of 322 with eight wickets to intact.
However even though the pre-tournament speculation proved to be wrong, the best four made it the last four stages to make the tournament even more attractive.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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