Thursday, April 12, 2007



April 12th, 2007: Quiztion of the Day - 31

A win is a win is win: that was what England cricketers must have been saying to each other after surviving a scare in the hands of Bangladeshi spinners. A target of 144, which looked relatively small attained mountainous proportions after England’s top order failed once again and Bangladesh spin twins Abdur Razaak and Mohammad Rafique capitalized on English batsmen’s extra cautiousness and inability to score runs to the maximum effect. With just 110 runs on board and still 34 runs needed for victory England lost all of its top order batman except Paul Collingwood by the end of 32 overs.

Both the Bangladeshi spinners raised the hopes of another upset by accounting a pair of wickets each right when England looked as if they were coasting towards a comfortable win. Razaak first dispatched both Vaughan and Pietersen in a space of 7 deliveries during his fifth and sixth overs to leave England tottering at 79 for 4. Then Mohammad Rafique clean bowled both Freddie Flintoff and Ravi Bopara with his second and last deliveries of his sixth over. Suddenly, England was reeling at 110 for 6 and the prospect of even dreaming about a semi-final spot started to appear bleak. Collingwood for the umpteenth time in his ODI career became the savior and with the help of his side’s gritty wicketkeeper-batsman Paul Nixon painstakingly took England near the target and slowly but surely accumulated the remaining 24 runs in almost 13 overs, a run-rate of 1.84 which must have driven the handful of spectators present at the stadium to an eternal sleep.

In the end, a win was what mattered England most than the way it was achieved,. They can still at least fathom a possibility of reaching last-four provided they beat South Africa on April 17th on the same ground. However, England’s batting needs lot of improvement when they take on South Africa and a similar performance will not be enough to take them over to the next stage of the competition.

Though England’s batting still lacks the solidity at the top and the aggressiveness at the bottom of an innings, their bowling came out good on a bouncy Kensington Oval pitch at Bridgetown. All three seamers Sajid Mahmood, James Anderson and Andrew Flintoff exploited the pitch and tormented the Bangladeshi batsmen who came out top on a much stronger South African bowling attack, even though on a slower track just four days earlier.

Tamim Iqbal got a fast bowler’s dream delivery from Sajid Mahmood and could not withdraw his bat in time edging it to Collingwood at fifth slip for a comfortable catch. Then bad luck too played its part which led to Bangladeshi skipper Habibul Bashar getting run out after Vaughan dropped a sitter of Shariar Nafees’ ambitious shot and showed the anger on the ball while throwing it to the keeper. Nixon with great presence of mind whipped off the bails as Bashar was walking towards the striker’s end thinking that a catch was made and he was just crossing the wickets. Shahriar too did not last long and was out in a very unlikely fashion when he edged another Sajid Mahmood’s quick delivery and Nixon could just get his gloves on to the ball but with another display of his presence of mind he parried it towards the second slip where Strauss took the catch. Bangladesh never recovered from those early losses and their three young tigers Musfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Ashraful and Aftab Ahmed all departed in quick succession with the score reading a miserable 65 for 6.

While Monty Panesar applied the breaks and cleaned up the tail with 3 for 25 of 7 overs, Saqibul Hassan waged a lone battle with an unbeaten 57. A little bit of support from Mashrafe Mortaza(13) and Abdur Razaak(15) brought some respectability to Bangladesh’s final total of 143 which in the end proved out to be at least 20-30 runs short of defending successfully.

Today’s ‘Quiztion of the Day’ relates to chasing fewer than 150 totals in a World Cup match. Here it goes:

Though England stumbled across while chasing sub 150 total in this match against Bangladesh, in the end they won the match. But this was not the case when they chased a smaller target than 143 against another underdog team in a World Cup match. They lost that match even after fielding a much stronger side. Shown below is the picture of the ground where this match was played. Provide the details of the match that is being referred here.

Remember to email your answers for each quiz individually to with the subject line as 'Quiztion of the Day - X' (X being the question number) through out the tournament duration. Results will be first posted on website within a week of the World Cup Final.


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