Today brings the last day of pool games. There is a lot of interest in how Bangladesh will fare against South Africa whilst Sri Lanka, rated by many as a side to win this competition face the unpredictable New Zealand!!! Both games should be highly entertaining and should provide an indication how the sides will fare in the Super 8 format.
The matches played on Thursday the 13th started off with an unexpected result. The West Indies faced Bangladesh, needing a victory to advance to the next round alongside South Africa. The Bangladesh side had other ideas knowing a victory ensured they would go through. Bangladesh got off to a great start, with Syed Rasel picking up the dangerous Chris Gayle with the third ball of the day.
Hopes of beating the West Indies would have been fading as the second wicket partnership was 95, with Devon Smith scoring a 50 and later on Dwayne Smith smashing 29 off 7 right near the end, which enabled the West Indies to post 164 a very defendable total.
Bangladesh got off to a poor start as Rampul’s first ball removed Nazimudden, and in his next over he sent Iqbal back to the bleachers off his last ball of the over. This was about as much joy as the Windies were going to get as Mohammed Ashraful joined Aftab Ahmed at the crease. Ashraful got into the action straight away with some very aggressive slogs rather than strokes bringing three 4’s off his first three balls faced. Ashraful scored 18 off Powells over and Rampul went for 16 in the previous over.
Aftab and Ashraful carried on the slaughter taking Bangladesh from 28/2 to 137/3 when Ashraful went out for 61. Ashraful recorded the fastest Twenty20 50 runs off 20 balls, stealing Jayasuriya’s record of 23 balls.
Bangladesh cruised to a 6 wicket victory with two overs remaining. They have certainly proved that the can perform in this form of the game and their match against South Africa will show the rest of the world how good they are.