Minnows no more

They played brilliant cricket throughout the tournament, beating India and taking away a little sheen from Sachin Tendulkar's 100th international century. Four days later, they overwhelmed Sri Lanka to put India out of contention for the finals against Pakistan.

Only a win over Misbah-ul-Haq's team eluded them in the tournament and they very nearly beat them. For a cricket passionate country, there will be post mortems done from all quarters. And opening batsman Nazimuddin will not go unnoticed. His 52-ball 16 was not the kind of innings his team required at the top of the order, but at the same time, it is human to err on a cricket pitch.

Tamim Iqbal has been splendid and the manner in which he despatched the ball to the ropes yesterday, it is no surprise he got his fourth half century of the tournament. Shakib Al Hasan played a good hand for his 68 off 72 balls but in the end, the hosts couldn't handle the pressure this form of the game can generate.

Bangladesh's defeat reminded one of New Zealand's loss in the semi-final of the 1992 World Cup at Auckland. 

Like Bangladesh, they did well to reach the closing stages of the competition only to be beaten by Pakistan.

Misbah's team deserve dollops of credit even though a  majority in the crowd didn't want them to win. To come back in this fashion after scoring an unimpressive 236 brought home the point again that Pakistan seldom display a lack of fighting spirit. 

It's this kind of wherewithal that helped Imran Khan's team triumph in the 1992 World Cup on March 25.

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