Bangladeshis showed mirror to Australians

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Australia, more correctly, mighty Australia toured Bangladesh to play 5 matches T 20 series against the hosts and, honestly speaking, not only Australia was too confident to win the series very convincingly and though Bangladesh quite naturally wanted to win the series before the home crowd but at the same they very well knew that two countries are not on equal footing as Australian cricketers had won most of the matches they had played against each of the cricket playing nations and, therefore, these 5 matches series could not be different so far as Australia was concerned so they flew to Dhaka in hoping that they will definitely flutter Australia flag atop in Bangladesh as well.

In all fairness, I must throw some light on the background of Australia and Bangladesh so far as cricket is concerned so that the subject can be understood quite clearly even by an ordinary brute who very much unluckily did not attend even a primary school what to talk of high school while college education is out of question in any case. Australia is playing cricket for well over 2 centuries, not decades and not years but centuries while Bangladesh as a country is born in December 1971 only which means age wise Australia is like more than great grandfather for Bangladesh.

Secondly, when it comes to the aspect of money it is well established and reckoned that quite but naturally money plays very commanding and dominating role from each and every angle of life of a nation not just the cricket. As regards per capita income, Australia is ranked 21st richest country on the face of earth, truly boasting of per capita income of US$49,378 whereas Bangladesh is ranked as low as 147 with a meager figure of US$3,877 (Pakistan is 134th with US$5,539) which itself proves that the two countries cannot and should not be compared in monetary terms. Needless to mention, when Bangladesh is too poor, it is quite but natural that the government can only allocate very little money for cricket and not otherwise. With such insignificant money, Bangladesh Cricket Board is very much handicapped to offer the standardized facilities to the cricketers who want to play the game for the nation and not for self.

When it comes to international ranking so far as T20 is concerned, it must be noted that Bangladesh is way below than Australia in this aspect. England tops the list followed by India while Pakistan is 4th on the ladder and Australia is at 6th rung but very much surprisingly Bangladesh is as low as 10th meaning by it is just one step above the least Zimbabwe.

It goes without saying that ever since the two cricket playing nations are too apart both in age and money, there cannot be any match whatsoever between the visiting Australians and the host Bangladeshis but yet Bangladeshis have proved not only to Australia but to the world at large, of course including my beloved Pakistan as well, that if there is a strong will, there is always a way and this is what exactly has been proved by Bangladeshis in quite crystal clear terms without slightest doubts of any ifs and buts.

Australian Cricket Board agreed with Bangladesh Cricket Board that its team will tour to Bangladesh in August 2021 to play 5 matches of T 20 which, as a matter of fact, could be good opportune for both the teams to test as to how much both are geared and toned up to play forthcoming T 20 World Cup in UAE which is very much knocking in any case. Bangladesh has suggested to Australians that the proposed matches be played in 3 different cities namely Dhaka, Mirpur and Chattagram but the visitors did not agree to it and insisted that all 5 matches be played in the capital Dhaka only and Bangladesh had no option but to agree to play total 5 matches in Dhaka alone.

Bangladesh has won the series by defeating Australians in 4 matches and luckily Australia succeeded in winning one match otherwise Bangladesh has completely washed them off.

1st match was played on Tuesday on 3rd August when Bangladesh batted 1st and scored 131 runs after losing 7 wickets. Shakib was the top scorer by scoring 36 runs after facing 33 balls while Hazlewood was the most successful bowler who took 3 wickets at the cost of 24 run. Australia replied with 108 all out means host had won the match by 23 runs. Mitchell Marsh was the top who scared run a ball by scoring with 45 runs from 45 balls he has faced. Nasun was the most successful bowler who took 4 wickets and gave 19 runs.

2nd match was played next day on Wednesday 4th instant wherein Bangladesh again batted 1st scoring 123 for 5 where Afif faced31 balls and netted 37 runs. Ashton was the most successful bowler sending back one Bangladeshi conceding 17 runs. Visitors could score 121 and lost 7 wickets. Mitchel Mash scored 45 runs from 42 balls. Mustafiz gave away 23 runs capturing 3 wickets. Here visitors lost the match by just 2 runs.

3rd match took place of Friday 6th August when Bangladesh posted 127 runs for the loss of 9 wickets and Mahmoodullah top scored with 52 runs after facing 53 balls. Nathan achieved hat-trick by sending back 3 batters in continuity at the cost of 34 runs. Australians in reply posted 117 runs and lost 4 wickets. Mitchell Marsh faced 47 balls and scored 51runs while Shariful got 2 wickets and gave away 29 runs. Host won by 10 runs.

4th match was played on Saturday 7th August and Bangladesh scored 104 after losing 9 wickets when Naim top scored with 28 runs after facing 36 balls. Swepson took 3 wickets giving away 12 runs. Australia scored 105 runs loosing 7 wickets. Christian electrified the atmosphere as he netted 39 runs from 15 balls only which has faced. Mustafiz captured 2 wickets giving away 9 runs. Australia won the match with 1 run and succeeded in denying the hosts clean wash.

5th and final match was played on Monday 9th August wherein Bangladesh posted 122 runs at the cost of 8 wickets as Naim top scored with 23 runs facing 23 runs while Ellis gave away 16 runs to get 2 wickets. Australia replied with just 62 runs all out when Wade scored 22 runs after facing equal number of balls. Shakib gave away 9 runs and sent back 4 Australians to pavilion.

Shakib is declared as Man-of-the-Series. He has also achieved another award for not only getting 100 wickets in T20 but also scoring 1000 runs in the same format.

Australians must be cursing not Bangladeshis but their own fate for scoring the ever lowest runs in T20 till this day. Did they so happily spend thousands of dollars and flying out miles and miles to be humiliated, not defeated alike, is the burning question now to be answered by the selectors, captain and players? Will the team have courage to face their own compatriots when they fly back with their tear soaked pulled down faces?

Australia is ranked number 6 in T20 and therefore had they been beaten by South Africa which is placed ahead of Australia or even defeated by Afghanistan placed below Australia, the defeat remained defeat but short of humiliation but alas Bangladesh has nakedly torn them apart to be honest which will be remembered till the dooms day.

Caution! Bangladesh has thrown an open and loud challenge to all the cricket playing nations, not just Australians that they in their own greater interest must be prepared not to be humiliated alike at the hands of Bangladeshis in the forthcoming T 20 World Cup.

I very sincerely wish that we must do still the more so that we are not defeated by Bangladesh as it happened many years back when Bangladesh was very much too new to cricket but yet it shook us which had utterly shocked not just our team but the nation as a whole and the wound so inflicted then is quite fresh even today to tell you the truth.

Don’t forget Zimbabwe did scare us recently when Pakistan played matches in Harare while England C team defeated us in any case and, therefore, call of the time is that we must be too strong otherwise, God forbid, Pakistan face can be blackened like Australia.

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Iqbal Hadi Zaidi / Kuwait / zaidi.formerdiplomat@hotmail.com

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