Upsets happen in the game of cricket. But what happened today, was could not be termed as an upset. Bangla Tigers have had a few series wins in the last year against mighty teams. After convincingly winning the limited over series with Australia and New Zealand at home, fans stated that they did win it because of home advantage, spinning wickets and the absence of the visitor's best squad. But this victory didn't come with home advantage, neither did it come with the spin advantage. The victory came by defeating the World Test Champions in their backyard playing with their full-strength squad.
By doing so, Bangladesh registered their first-ever test victory against New Zealand. And to win it on bouncy Kiwi wicket was a cherry on the pie. Also, they Blackcaps' winning streak of 17 test victories at home. In the process, they became the only Asian team to emerge victorious in a test in New Zealand from the last 10 years. Bangladesh did what India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan couldn't do in the past decade.
The fighting spirit shown by Bangladesh was commendable. Winning the toss, they chose to field. Blackcaps posted a good total, courtesy a century from their in form Devon Conway and half-centuries from Will Young and Henry Nicholls.
In reply to the Kiwis score of 328, Bangladesh batted their heart out and posted a mammoth score of 458, gaining a lead of 130 runs. All the Bangla batters contributed to the scorecard. With 4 of their batters scoring half-centuries, Bangladesh batted out for almost 2 complete days against the pace attack of Trent Boult, Neil Wagner and Tim Southee. The most eye-pleasing sight was to watch Litton Das finally living up to the expectations faith of team management and expectations from Bangla fans.
With the second innings starting on the 4th day, it looked like the test could result in a draw, but Ebadot Hossain and Taskin Ahmed had different plans. They tore apart the Kiwi batting lineup. Barring the youngster Will Young, and the most experienced Ross Taylor, none of the Kiwi batters could withstand the onslaught of the Bangla duo. With Ebadot scalping 6, and Taskin getting 3, New Zealand was bundled for 169. And with just 40 required to win, it was only a matter of time for Bangladesh to seal a victory.
A lot happened in the match. Matches like these with uncertainties add to the beauty of test cricket. Apart from the uncertainties, the match was also viral for one photo of Mominul Haque and Kylie Jamieson standing together, and the height difference flooded the internet with memes. But if I had to draw the meaning of that viral pic, I would say the short stature of Mominul depicting the way the world looked at the Bangladesh team, vs the stature of Jamieson depicting what the Bangladesh team is. It's only one odd victory, Bangladesh has a long way to go, but they did make a statement defeating the mighty Kiwis.
The world test champions were defeated and would like to forget this encounter. But every cricket fan was pleased to see the Bangladesh team finally win. With the amount of time Bangladesh is playing in the International Circuit, it should have happened earlier. With the likes of Mohammad Ashraful, Habibul Bashar, Mashrafe Mortaza playing together, the team should have erased their existence as minnows at least a decade earlier. But better late than never. It would be great to see Bangladesh challenging the best teams in world cricket in future. Also, with the U-19 Bangla side winning the 2020 U-19 world cup, we could see youngsters coming up to ensure the rise of Bangladesh in cricketing history. We wish it happens soon.
Authored By:- Ashwin Jangam ( Cricket Analyst, Host and Entertainer)
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