TRINIDAD: India seems to be in danger of being ousted from the World Cup after a shocking five-wicket defeat in their opening encounter against Bangladesh, who relied on a bunch of teenagers to pull off what may well be one of the biggest upsets in recent times.
Indians were clearly outplayed by the inexperienced Bangladeshis in their Group B encounter at the Queen’s Park Oval on a track which gave some assistance to the bowlers in the morning session.
Electing to bat, India put on a pathetic batting display and witnessed a top and lower order collapse to be bundled out for 191 in 49.3 overs.
While India seems crestfallen and even angry at this unpredictable turn of events, the scene in neighbouring Bangladesh was one of pure merriment.
The government ban on public gatherings was forgotten as jubilant fans in Bangaldesh celebrated their win against India, much to the shock of the entire cricket watching public, worldwide. The head of the military-led government, Fakhruddin Ahmed joined the late-night crowd to congratulate the tigers on their historic feat.
Defying the government ban on marches and processions, students took to the streets, shouting slogans, “our days of shame are gone”. The policemen who were on duty too joined in as they tracked every movement on the giant screens put up by universities.
Government authorities ensured there were no power failures through the night and audiences were esctatic as they saw Mortaza, who grabbed four wickets for 37 runs, walk away with the Man of the Match award.
Meanwhile, Former test cricketers have described Pakistan’s shocking three-wicket loss against Ireland in World Cup as the lowest point in Pakistan’s cricketing history.
“Without a hint of doubt in my mind, it’s the lowest point in Pakistan cricket though Irish players rose to the occasion, they meant business and looked more motivated than us,” said Intikhab Alam, caoch of the team that won the World Cup in 1992. Pakistan slumped out of the World Cup contention after losing both its Group D games against host West Indies and Ireland.
What added to the team’s low performance and morale was the loss of pace bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif and key allrounder Abdul Razzaq, who withdrew with injuries on the eve of the tournament. Also they had to do without allrounder Shahid Afridi against the West Indies and Ireland given the fact that Afridi was serving out the final two matches of a four-match ICC ban.
Alam has advised both coach Bob Woolmer and captain Inzamam-ul-Haq to quit on their return. He agreed that though the wicket was suitable for seamers and Ireland won the crucial toss, there was no escaping that they had lost fair and square, without even putting up a decent fight.
With additional inputs from Dhaka and Islamabad