A tale of embarrassment and heartbreak

Shakib Al Hasan walks back to the pavilion after getting out during the ICC Men's T20 World Cup match between Bangladesh vs Scotland at Al Amerat Cricket ground in Muscat on 17 October, 2021ANI
Bangladesh began its journey in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup with a win over the West Indies in their inaugural match. But since then, things have gone downhill for the Tigers. They lost 25 of their next 32 games in the competition and won only six, that too against associate teams. With Bangladesh set to begin their eighth T20 World Cup campaign on 24 October, Prothom Alo discusses four Bangladesh losses that have either wrenched the hearts of the cricket fans in the country or have left them furious and embarrassed.

Bangladesh v Hong Kong

ICC World T20 2014

Result: Lost by two wickets

In 2014, the ICC T20 World Cup, which was then called ICC World T20, made its way to Bangladesh.

After hosting the ODI World Cup with India and Sri Lanka three years back, this time Bangladesh was the sole host of the biggest T20 carnival in the world.

The country was ready to celebrate the occasion with all the pomp and pageantry it could muster. It was also a chance for the Tigers to bounce back after going winless in the previous three editions of the competition.

That was the first edition where the ICC started using the group-stage of the competition as an impromptu qualifying tournament.

Hong Kong players celebrate after beating Bangladesh

The better ranked teams were automatically qualified for the second round and the first round teams had to either become champion or runners-up in their group to join them in the second round.

Bangladesh were placed in group A in the first round alongside Nepal, Afghanistan and Hong Kong.

Against Afghanistan and Nepal, Bangladesh won comfortably, which helped them secure a spot in the Super 10 and get a much needed confidence boost.

But disaster struck against Hong Kong. The Tigers made the mistake of taking Hong Kong, who had lost to Nepal and Afghanistan, lightly.

Careless batting on a pitch that provided some assistance to the slower bowlers rendered Bangladesh to a paltry total of 108 in 16.3 overs.

The Bangladeshi spinners tried their best to make a match out of it. But Munir Dar’s 36 off 27 balls took Hong Kong, a team of mostly amateur cricketers, over the line with two balls to spare.

Bangladesh never recovered from the jolt of losing to Hong Kong and they were soundly defeated in all four matches of the Super 10 phase.

Bangladesh v India

ICC T20 World Cup 2016

Result: Lost by one run

The 2016 edition of the competition was held in India. Bangladesh went into the tournament high on confidence after an incredible 2015, where they reached the quarterfinal of the ODI World Cup and also won ODI series against Pakistan, India and South Africa.

Finishing as runners-up in the Asia Cup T20 at home just a month before the T20 World Cup also raised their hopes.

The Tigers made their way into the Super 10 stage without any issues. But their momentum came to a screeching halt in Kolkata, when they lost to Pakistan by 55 runs.

The defeat was followed by a close encounter against Australia in Bengaluru, which they lost by three wickets. Next up for Bangladesh was India.

Indian players celebrate after defeating Bangladesh in a nail-biting finish in Bengaluru

Against a powerhouse Indian batting line-up, Bangladesh bowlers had a near perfect day. Skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza conceded just 22 runs from his four overs while pacer Al-Amin Hossain and Mustafizur Rahman took two wickets each to restrict India to a gettable 146-7 in a flat deck in Bengaluru.

The Bangladesh batters also responded as despite losing wickets in regular successions, they managed to keep the scoring rate up.

It all came down to the final over, where Bangladesh needed 11 runs with the experienced Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah at the middle.

Mahmudullah took a single on the first ball and Mushfiq then hit consecutive fours to bring the equation down to two off three balls.

But what happened in the next three balls was nothing short of a nightmare. Bangladesh fans watched in horror as two of their most experienced batters threw away their wickets in the next two balls trying to hit sixes.

Bangladesh still could’ve tied the match with a single off the last ball. But that wasn’t to be as MS Dhoni ran Mustafiz out in the final delivery, crushing the hearts of millions of Bangladeshis.

Bangladesh v Scotland

ICC T20 World Cup 2021

Result: Lost by six runs

Stats-wise, Bangladesh entered the 2021 edition of the ICC T20 World Cup in their best ever form in the format.

Right before the World Cup, they won their maiden T20I series against Australia and New Zealand at home.

But what the stats didn’t show was that both Australia and New Zealand had sent second-string teams and the matches were played on egregious pitches.

The false sense of confidence the Tigers had before the World Cup withered away when they lost their tournament opener against Scotland.

Bangladesh couldn't chase 141 against Scotland

Bangladesh had started well in the match, reducing the Scottish team to 53-6 after 11.3 overs. But Chris Greaves made 45 off 28 balls to take Scotland to 140-9, a fighting total on a wicket that was on the slower side.

Bangladesh’s three experienced batters Shakib Al Hasan, Musfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah got starts, but none of them could stay till the end and finish the job for the Tigers.

The Mahmudullah-led side recovered from the defeat against Scotland, beating Oman and Papua New Guinea to make it to the Super 12. But failure to chase 141 runs against an associate team dented their confidence for the rest of the tournament.

Bangladesh v West Indies

ICC T20 World Cup 2021

Result: Lost by three runs

Bangladesh’s match against West Indies followed a similar script to their match against Scotland.

Just like against Scotland, Bangladesh managed to put West Indies under pressure early on, reducing them to 62-4 after 12.4 overs.

Then, Nicholas Pooran’s 40 off 22 balls dragged West Indies to a competitive total of 142-7.

Chasing a gettable score, the Tigers once again suffered for the lack of firepower in the batting line-up and conceded an agonising defeat.

Skipper Mahmudullah batted till the end and remained unbeaten on 31 off 24 balls, but couldn’t hit the big shots when his team needed it.

Mahmudullah dejected after Bangladesh's loss to the West Indies

Mahmudullah had the strike for the last four balls of the match, from which Bangladesh required 10 runs.

The right-hander couldn’t hit any boundary in those four balls, running three twos and a single in the final ball as Bangladesh succumbed to another heart wrenching defeat.

Bangladesh’s highest scorer of that innings, Liton Das, also bore a lot of the blame of that defeat as his 44-run innings off 43 balls made very little impact for Bangladesh.