ICC World Cup: Mushfiqur soldiers on in his fifth 50-over World Cup bow
Wicketkeeper-batter Mushfiqur Rahim is the only surviving member of the famous squad which pulled off a five-wicket win against a star-studded India in the 2007 ICC World Cup
For over 15 years, the pocket-sized, ever smiling Mushfiqur Rahim has been a regular feature of Bangladesh cricket through all its ups and downs. The wicketkeeper-batter, the only surviving member of the famous squad which pulled off a five-wicket win against a star-studded India in the 2007 ICC World Cup, appeared in his fifth 50-over showpiece in Thursday’s game in Pune.
Coming in at number six, however, the 35-year-old failed to accelerate the scoring rate and eventually fell for 38 off 46 balls, falling to a spectacular catch at backward point by Ravindra Jadeja off the nagging Jasprit Bumrah. The Bangla Tigers thus failed to capitalise on the fantastic start by openers Liton Kumar Das (66 off 82 balls) and Tanzid Hasan (51 off 43).
Young Hasan was the aggressor in the powerplay, with five fours and three sixes as the pair put up 93 — their best partnership for the first wicket in this edition — until he fell leg before to Kuldeep Yadav. Stifled by Kuldeep and Jadeja in the middle overs, the Tigers finally managed a reasonable total of 256 for eight, though it looks under-par by at least 50 runs.
There are two members of the five-time World Cup appearance club in this Bangladesh squad — Mushfiqur and captain Shakib Al Hasan. The latter did not feature in Thursday's match owing to an injury, while a third member of what is often called the ‘golden generation’ of Bangladesh cricket — Tamim Iqbal — opted out of selection owing to differences with the team management over his batting position.
A recap of their famous giant-killing act in the 2007 tournament will show that all three veterans contributed substantially as they held their nerves to overcome a modest target of 192. While Tamim gave a blistering start to the chase with 51 off 53 balls, Mushfiqur remained unbeaten with 56 off 107, and Shakib got 53 off 86 balls.