The Bangladesh cricket greatest moments seem to be a distant memory, but many diehard fans of the sport still remember their exploits. Bangladesh’s cricket team has risen from obscurity in regional cricket to one of the most popular teams in this sport’s history.
Uncertainties in the Bangladesh cricket team recently has cast a shadow over performance as a competitive side. However, their most exciting moments are a pointer to the massive potential Bangladesh cricket possesses to dominate this sport sometime in the future. Let’s take a look at six (6) unforgettable moments in Bangladesh cricket history.
First World Cup Qualification – 1997
Qualification for the World Cup is one of the Bangladesh cricket greatest moments on record.
Bangladesh had an international game under their belt in the ‘80s but they had to wait over a decade for their first World Cup berth. The Tigers waited seventeen (17) years after their debut international game for a World Cup qualification spot.
They secured their first WC spot after reaching the ICC Trophy final in 1997, a record feat at that time. Bangladesh had to compete against several tough teams including The Netherlands and Kenya to secure their ICC trophy berth.
Heroics from players like Khaled Mashud and Akram Khan ensured Bangladesh secured a memorable ICC trophy outing along with the prized WC spot.
First ODI Victory – 1998
Bangladesh had to wait for many years for their first ever One-Day International (ODI) victory. The Tigers got their first ODI win in 1998 against Kenya, signaling their arrival as one of the top sides in 50-over cricket. Against Kenya, Bangladesh played at an unprecedented pace to see off their opponents in the Coca Cola Triangular Series.
Chasing a target of 237, Bangladesh got the better of their opponents by fielding skilled players like Mohammed Rafique against Kenyan batters. Rafique got an impressive 77 after 87 balls with double-digit fours and a single sixer in the game.
Then stepped up Athar Khan to deliver 47 runs and Akram Khan with 39 runs. The team ended up defeating Kenya during that game to record their first ODI series win much to the delight of cricket fans in Bangladesh and worldwide.
Win vs. Pakistan at the World Cup – 1999
The 1999 World Cup saw Bangladesh create another memorable moment with their exciting performances against Pakistan. Akram Khan led the Tigers to an unforgettable victory over Pakistan after helping his team set a hard target of 237. Pakistan were determined to respond during that game but fell short to the superior performance of Bangladeshi bowlers.
The Tigers’ bowlers were on fire that day and players like Khaled Mahmud made sure Pakistan were reduced to 161 runs.
Bangladesh’s win against Pakistan during that tournament has a special place in the heart of sports history. Before the game, Pakistan and Bangladesh had been engrossed in a long war where millions of Bangladeshis lost their lives and faced harsh living conditions. Freedom from Pakistan was a welcome development and the WC win put a befitting icing on the cake.
Test Status – 2000
The Tigers attained Test status in 2000, giving their team another chance to showcase their skills in cricket’s fastest format. Kenya was in the run-in for that Test spot in 2000, but the Tigers eventually got it instead.
Many argue that the Kenyans were more deserving of that spot and it is still unclear why they didn’t get it outright in 2000. However, it would be difficult to overlook the performance of Bangladesh and why they were handed this status in that year.
ODI performances, the fan base, and emerging talented players in their squad justified Bangladesh’s assumed status.
Asia Cup Final Berth – 2012
The 2012 Asia Cup saw Bangladesh feature as its lowest-ranked side behind cricket giants like India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. It was already a bad tournament for the Tigers on paper, but they went out outfield to shatter all predictions in spectacular fashion.
Wins against India and Sri Lanka cleared all doubts about Bangladesh’s skills in regional cricket after many commentators predicted a losing tournament for the Tigers. No sports analyst expected Bangladesh to win a game in that tournament, but they strolled into the final after defeating top teams.
Bangladesh will suffer heartbreak in the final against Pakistan, but a point had already been made by their dogged performance.
Series Win Streak – 2014
Mashrafe Mortaza’s emergence into the Bangladesh fold saw several significant changes to Bangladesh’s fortunes. Their performances in ODIs saw an impressive uptick with four straight series wins against tough opposition. In one swoop, the Tigers upended Zimbabwe, Pakistan, India, and South Africa signaling their status as a serious team in ODI cricket.