Bangladesh have forever been considered a unit incapable of defeating the so-called big nations. Underrated and under-appreciated, they have often surprised their critics with memorable wins against Test-playing nations, the most astonishing one coming against Australia in an ODI in Cardiff in 2005.
Often, they have also taken to ICC tournaments to show what they are capable of, knocking out a top-eight team at an early stage. They have crossed the line against stronger opposition seven times in global events, and the matches are worth remembering. Take a look.
#1 1999 World Cup vs Pakistan, Northampton
Eventual finalists, Pakistan had to taste a shocking defeat at the hands of one of the newest international sides in the world. Inserting Bangladesh in to bat at the County Ground, captain Wasim Akram gave the new ball to the ferocious pair of Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar. But a cluster of extras and reliable batting from Shahriar Hossain meant Bangladesh were 69 without loss.
But in the middle-overs, wily leg-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq accounted for five wickets and stemmed Bangladesh’s progress. Akram Khan top scored with 42 as they ended on a paltry 223/9. What was to be a cakewalk turned into a horror show, as medium-pacer Khaled Mahmud ripped apart the Pakistan middle-order to leave them reeling at 42/5.
All-rounder Azhar Mahmood and skipper Akram added 55 before falling in quick succession. That left the tail with too much to do, and Pakistan folded for 161 with Mahmud taking home the Man of the Match award for his 3/31.
#2 2007 World Cup vs India, Port of Spain
India opted to bat on a fair batting surface in this group stage encounter and very few felt that there would be an upset. But both pace and spin troubled the Men in Blue, as they stared at a below par score after being reduced to 72/4. Mashrafe Mortaza swung the ball with good pace and veteran Mohammad Rafique tied India down with accurate spin bowling.
Sourav Ganguly, who limped to 66 off 129 balls, and Yuvraj Singh, with a more attacking 47 off 58, repaired India’s innings but first Rafique and Abdur Razzak hurt India and then Mortaza returned to bag two more. He finished with 4/38 and India, a shameful 191.
Young Tamim Iqbal removed any doubts that Bangladeshi supporters had of letting this match slip when he fearlessly attacked India’s pacers to be dismissed for a breezy 51.
Two other fifties – from Mushfiqur Rahim, 56*, and Shakib Al Hasan, 53 – ensured that nothing was left for India to crawl back into. Although the pair batted slowly, India never got a sniff of victory. Part-time off-spinner Virender Sehwag got two late wickets, but by then, the script for a famous win had already been written.
#3 2007 World Cup vs South Africa, Georgetown
After entering the super eight stage following wins over India and Bermuda, a confident Bangladesh were put in to bat on a nice batting track. Andre Nel had Bangladesh four down for 84 with his waspish pace and bounce, and a low score was on the cards. But Mohammad Ashraful took it upon himself to help his country recuperate by batting sensibly. He first added 76 with Aftab Ahmed and then guided the tail to keep Bangladesh afloat.
Ashraful was the last man dismissed for an entertaining 87 and Mashrafe Mortaza helped make 251 with a masterful 16-ball 25. Nel got 5/45, but South Africa’s batsmen let him down by slipping to 87/6. Left-armer Syed Rasel rocked the top order and spinners Shakib Al Hasan and Abdur Razzak applied further brakes to dent South Africa’s hopes.
A brief recovery led by Shaun Pollock gave the Proteas hope, but that was dashed by a run-out and a triple strike by the spinners. Gibbs though remained unbeaten on 56 and South Africa were bowled out for 184 with Razzak claiming three wickets. Another historical win – by 67 runs – alerted the world to Bangladesh’s talent.
#4 2007 T20 World Cup vs West Indies, Johannesburg
Following a double blow in the Caribbean during the ODI World Cup just six months back, Bangladesh reminded the world that those wins were no fluke by upsetting the West Indies. Syed Rasel removed dangerman Chris Gayle for a duck, which meant Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Devon Smith had to bat cautiously. Marlon Samuels, with a rapid 14-ball 27, and then a late blast by Dwayne Smith, who smashed 29 off 7 with four sixes, pushed the score to 164.
Things then took a turn for the worse. An accelerated stand of 109 in under 11 overs between Aftab Ahmed and Mohammad Ashraful all but decided the fate of their opposition. Ahmed remained undefeated on 62 off 49 with eight boundaries, while Ashraful did more damage with a flying 61 off 27 balls, including seven fours and three sixes.
Shakib Al Hasan arrived with intent and hit 13 off 9 before being castled by part-timer and captain Ramnaresh Sarwan, who also bagged Ashraful’s wicket. But it was too little too late for the West Indies. Bangladesh eclipsed their score with two overs to spare and with consecutive losses in the group stages, West Indies took an early flight home.
#5 2011 World Cup vs England, Chittagong
In front of a raucous home crowd, it was the perfect opportunity for Bangladesh to upset another tough opponent. Already having endured a troublesome World Cup campaign, England were sent in on a flat pitch. They found themselves at 53/3 with spin accounting for all three scalps.
Jonathan Trott and Eoin Morgan then joined hands and stitched together a 109-run stand before Morgan, on 63, became Naeem Islam’s second victim. That opened the floodgates and next fell Trott, who had limped to 67 off 99 balls. All bowlers struck in unison to limit England to 225.
Tamim Iqbal gave Bangladesh a blazing start by hammering 38 off 26, but soon they were 73/3. England sniffed an opening, but Imrul Kayes and Shakib steadied Bangladesh’s boat by adding 82 vital runs. However, 155/3 became 169/8 as England hit back courtesy of Graeme Swann and Ajmal Shahzad. Down to Mahmudullah Riyadh and number ten Shafiul Islam, Bangladesh needed 56 off the last 10 overs.
The batsmen targetted Swann to revive the chase, smashing two fours and a six to take Bangladesh close. James Anderson then leaked 11 in the 46th as Andrew Strauss smelled danger. Shafiul utilised the situation to showcase his batting prowess and the formalities were completed when Mahmudullah drove Tim Bresnan, with Bangladesh winning by two wickets and an over to spare.
#6 2015 World Cup vs England, Adelaide
With England suffering losses at the hands of all the sides bar Scotland, this match was their final hope to qualify for the quarters. Eoin Morgan’s men had Bangladesh at 8/2 before Soumya Sarkar and Mahmudullah Riyadh started the recovery. A fifth wicket partnership of 141 between veterans Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim led Bangladesh to a competitive total. The former smacked 103 while the latter bruised England with a quick 89 as Bangladesh got to 275/7.
England began their chase solidly in a must-win match with senior pro Ian Bell getting to a crucial 63. But 121/2 became 163/6 as Alex Hales and Joe Root threw away starts and Morgan and James Taylor never got one. Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes waged a valiant battle, but Taskin Ahmed accounted for Buttler and that sparked another collapse. The fast and accurate Rubel Hossain accounted for the final two wickets in the same over as Woakes remained stranded on 42.
England fell short by 15 runs to send the Bangladesh fans into a frenzy. Rubel got 4/53 and Mahmudullah was named the Man of the Match for a match-defining century.
#7 2017 Champions Trophy vs New Zealand, Cardiff
In a must-win clash for both teams, Kane Williamson opted to bat on a fine surface. It took an 83-run third wicket partnership between the experienced duo of Williamson and Ross Taylor to bring New Zealand back into the game after a poor start. But the part-time off-spin of Mosaddek Hossain worked wonders as the middle-order struggled to time the ball and ultimately fell going for the big hits. Mosaddek got 3/13 late in the innings that killed the Black Caps’ momentum as they managed merely 265 runs.
Tim Southee then blew away the Bangladeshi top order with three early wickets and Adam Milne struck to have them struggling at 33/4. Just when things seemed bleak came a record ODI partnership for Bangladesh. Seniors Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah Riyadh strung together 224 for the fifth wicket to bewilder New Zealand and the rest of the world.
Both hit memorable centuries – Shakib fell for 114 attempting to finish things off in style but Mahmudullah remained unbeaten on 102 for his third hundred in an ICC tournament. Nothing worked for New Zealand and they had to surrender with over two overs to spare.