Given their performance in this format, no one expected Bangladesh would make semifinal in this T20 World Cup. And indeed there was no point in thinking of semifinal when they came to this world cup with just one victory in the main round in the last seven editions.
But the preparation of Bangladesh was good enough. They played a tri-nation series in New Zealand just ahead of the World Cup. Even though they lost all of the matches, they coped with the condition very well, which the players admitted before kick-starting their World Cup campaign. The added bonus was the form of captain Shakib Al Hasan who hit back-to-back half-century against New Zealand and Pakistan in tri-nation series.
So there was slim expectation that Bangladesh could do something good, specially breaking the jinx of beating a top team since 2021 T20 World Cup was a top agenda. But finally they couldn’t do that.
They had two wins against Netherlands and Zimbabwe in first three matches of World Cup. There was good vibe that they could snatch win a match at least one of against India and Pakistan. They came close to beat both of the subcontinent giants but at the end, they just couldn’t seal the deal.
On paper though it is Bangladesh best World Cup performance, reality said, the Tigers were not actually good enough. When some decisions went against them, they also had lot of loopholes which should be plugged if they want to be a force to reckon with in this format.
According to cricket experts and team management three reasons were key in Bangladesh’s downfall– middle order’s substandard performance, captain Shakib Al Hasan’s own form and finally some bad decisions by umpires. But there is one takeaway and that’s the bowling performance of the team led by Taskin Ahmed, which kept Bangladesh alive till the last moment of the group encounters.
“We were improving in every match but what ailed us that our middle order couldn’t play to their potential,” said Bangladesh team director Khaled Mahmud Sujon.
“In opening position, Najmul Hossain Shanto gave us two half-centuries (71 and 54) when his inclusion in the team was widely criticized. I don’t know why people talked negative about him! He is an immensely gifted player and he proved his worth. Liton also played well.”
As the only senior player, captain Shakib Al Hasan had lot of onus but he failed to deliver in big time. He scored just 44 runs in five matches, took six wickets at the average of 27.83 and economy rate of 8.78. This was not a performance that was expected from the No.1 allrounder of this format.
His dismissal against Pakistan was controversial. He indeed was dismissed due to the big error of third umpire—a decision that everyone criticized but the question raised what he could do even if he survived through video review? The team’s middle order was so shaky that they lost last seven wickets for 53 runs after Shakib’s dismissal.
“Shakib’s performance was disappointing. If he could play to the expectation, we could have bowed with better result,” said cricket expert Najmul Abedin Fahim.
Bangladesh lost the game to India by five runs through DLS method. But according to Bangladesh vice-captain Nurul Hasan Sohan, their team should get five penalty runs due to the fake throw of Virat Kohli. Also there was allegation that the umpire and match referee started the game before the ground was dried up adequately. But ideally wet ground should be harmful for fielding side not for the batting side.
After rain break Bangladesh needed 85 runs off 54 balls with all 10 wickets at hand but they collapsed and eventually lost the game by five runs. Captain Shakib Al Hasan blamed their panicking and lack of experience for the defeat and he even couldn’t blame any umpiring error or fake throw for the defeat.
“We can discuss with umpires with any decisions but if they give their decision, there is not much that we can do. The match result will not be changed even if we complain about it,” team director Khaled Mahmud Sujon said.