Apart from England, the most improved ODI cricket team in the world over the past two years surely is Bangladesh. Mashrafe Mortaza’s boys kept their hopes of a semi-final berth alive in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 by knocking New Zealand out of the competition. It was a fabulous performance from the Bangladesh bowlers first up, restricting New Zealand to a reasonably small total of 265 runs at Cardiff. Just as it looked like they held the momentum, Tim Southee struck early blows to the Bangladesh top-order, leaving them reeling at 33 for 4.
Enter, Mahmudullah and Shakib Al Hassan. There’s something about Mahmudullah’s batting style that is almost infectious as it wears off on anyone else he bats with as well. The duo put on a 224-run partnership for the fifth wicket to hand Bangladesh an improbable looking win. The scenes of celebration in the Bangladesh camp and in the crowd signified what this victory meant to the players and to their ever-faithful fans. The rise of Bangladesh cricket continues, after knocking England out of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, they’ve sent the Kiwis packing from this tournament. They now will be hoping for England to beat Australia at Edgbaston on Saturday which would hand Bangladesh a semi-final spot.