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Bangladesh Breathes Fresh Life Into World Cup After Beating England

Mar 12, 2011 2:20:31 PM - thesundayleader.lk

Dion Michael feels Bangladesh’s triumph can upset the status quo

Bangladesh celebrate the dismissal of Strauss

Bangladesh has breathed fresh life into the World Cup tournament after their stunning win over England on Friday gave the co-hosts a slim chance of still making it into the quarter-finals.
From the inception of the tournament it appeared that the ICC had all but ensured the ‘safe passage’ of the eight senior  test playing nations into the next round – the minnows it seemed were there to just make up the numbers.
In theory, in this year’s format, a team could have sneaked into the next round with just three wins – two of which could be against teams from associate member countries. That same team could go on to win the trophy if they won their next three games.
It seemed that after exactly a month of 42 games – 20 of which are mismatches – and a few more evenly matched but between two mediocre teams, the tea party would end and eight teams who are full members of the ICC will ‘qualify’ for the quarter-finals.
The minnows have all voiced their disappointment over the ICC’s stance towards them and the decision to include only two associate members in the next World Cup. They were determined to prove a point but with the exception of Ireland who have been competitive in most of their games, Kenya, Canada and Netherlands have let themselves down.
Bangladesh – often the poor relation of the senior test playing nations, was the dark horse in the tournament but their form has been erratic – swinging from good wins to mediocre displays which earned them the wrath of their own fans.
On Friday, the team once again displayed great spirit to stun England and open up a range of possibilities in their group.
England with just two wins and a tie from their five games, simply must win their final game against the West Indies to ensure their place in the quarter finals. Bangladesh have two wins from four games and have yet to play Netherlands who are at the bottom of the table and South Africa.
West Indies have three wins from four games and have the best run rate in the group. Their remaining games are against England and India and even if they lose both they may still make the quarter finals unless Bangladesh beat both Netherlands and South Africa.
The next week will see some heightened activity among the teams in this group and the calculators coming into play for net run rates. There certainly is some life left in this opening round.