Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Classic ODI matches at CWC 2011 venues - Sher-e-Bangla Cricket Stadium

Dhaka has been given the distinction of hosting the first match of the ICC Cricket World Cup as hosts Bangladesh take on India at the Sher-e-Bangla Cricket Stadium on February 19.

Here, as part of a special series, we look back at five classic ODI matches to have taken place at the venue.

Hosts start with a Bang

Bangladesh enjoyed an emphatic victory over Zimbabwe in the first ODI played at the Sher-e-Bangla Cricket Stadium, in December 2006.

Mashrafe Mortaza (3-14) was the pick of the home bowlers as Zimbabwe could only muster 146 after being put into bat.

An unbeaten third-wicket partnership of 85 between Aftab Ahmed (58 not out) and Shakib Al Hasan (31 not out) then saw their team home with 17.2 overs to spare.

Pakistan win battle of the batsmen

Having beaten Pakistan by 140 runs in the group phase (also containing the hosts Bangladesh), India went into the 2008 Kitplay Cup final as strong favourites.

A second-wicket partnership of 205 between Salman Butt (129) and Younis Khan (108) allowed Pakistan to post an imposing target of 316 for their great rivals.

A succession of starts were made by the Indian batsmen but no major individual score was reached as they were bowled out for 290 with 10 balls to spare. Umar

Gul was the leading bowler for the victors with four wickets.

Shakib makes hay

ODI victories against major nations have been few and far between for Bangladesh, making their convincing five-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in January 2009 all the more impressive.

Part of a tri-series tournament also involving Zimbabwe, Bangladesh ensured they would join their opponent in the final thanks to the power-hitting of Shakib Al Hasan.

Chasing 148 in a match reduced to 31-overs-per-side, the left-hander struck 92 off 69 balls as Bangladesh recovered from 11-3 to reach their target with 43 balls remaining.

Murali the unlikely batting hero

Sri Lanka got their revenge for defeat two days earlier when they claimed a two-wicket victory in one of the more astonishing ODIs of recent times.

There appeared little cause for alarm when Bangladesh could only reach 152, dismissed with two balls of their 50 overs left unused.

That all changed when Sri Lanka plummeted to 6-5 in reply. Even when the batting side made a recovery to 114-8 it seemed their rearguard action would come to nought.

That was to discount a remarkable innings from number 10 Muttiah Muralitharan, who slammed 33 not out from 16 balls to steer his team home with 11 balls left.

Morgan wins the day

Bangladesh came out on the wrong side of another tight finish when England edged to a two-wicket victory in March 2010.

A total of 260-6 from the home side was always likely to prove testing and so it transpired as spinners Abdur Razzak and Shakib Al Hasan both took advantage of favourable conditions to claim three wickets apiece.

Eoin Morgan stood resolute as wickets fell around him and the left-hander recorded an unbeaten century – his first for England but second overall, having already reached three figures for Ireland – to see the tourists to their target.

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