Affectionately known as the “Queen of the Midlands”, Nottingham hosted its last match for this world cup with plenty of fierce excitement amongst the masses. Once again, the encouragement for the Bangladeshi team was incredible, and the Tigers held up by the supporters weren’t hard to spot at all.
With spearheads Australia going smoothly except the slight stumble against India, Bangladesh too came into the clash with truckloads of confidence, ensuing from an epic match last time. Coming up against each other though, Australia seemed to hold a very different game plan in their heads.
Batting first, a weak bowling line-up contributed to Bangladesh’s downfall early in the game, as a rampant Australia declared tyranny with a brutal assault over the bowlers. The top 5 batsmen all had strike rates reaching above 100, and with partnership-after-partnership coming easily by their way, Australia was on their way to a dramatic total.
Led by a charming 166 by David Warner, it was evident that Bangladesh seemed to be leaking too many runs against their opposition. Their frontline bowlers, Shakib and Rubel, both had soaring economy rates, and the hassles were so that Mashrafe Mortaza had to turn towards Soumya Sarkar, who later became their leading wicket-taker.
When Bangladesh came out to chase, a miscommunication between the openers led to a wicket for the Australians, and Shakib lost out early after a skilfully made 41 too. Soon after, Tamim returned to the pavilion, leaving two relatively new batsmen on the crease to battle it out. The required rate kept zooming up, and even though Mushfiquir fought till the end, scoring a hundred for himself, small cameos by Das and Mahmadullah weren’t enough to keep the run rate in check. Bangladesh hence lost out in a valiant effort of theirs, with a spirited chase washing away in vain.