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Since the 2015 World Cup, the Bangladesh cricket team has enjoyed a steady rise in world cricket and has witnessed a consistent stream of success by beating some of the top cricketing nations. However, most of them have been at home leading to the tag of -Tigers at home. However, in the Champions Trophy by beating New Zealand Bangladesh has shown a new found resilience and in the process also managed to achieve another feat which has till now eluded them – qualifying for their first major semi-final in an ICC event.
Possibly this is the biggest milestone that the Bangla tigers have achieved since they started playing ODI cricket in 1986.
But this is a recent phenomenon as their earlier records have been far from encouraging before. In the period between 1999 to 2004, they lost as many as 71 out of their 72 matches. However, post that -period they started proving their credentials as they defeated Australia at Cardiff in 2005 and then dumped India out of the 2007 World Cup.
But now ten years later in 2017 – Bangladesh are now in the semi-finals where they once again face the same team that they dumped out in 2007. Will they make a repeat of the same? That is a matter of conjecture but on their day Bangladesh are known to be giant killers. Against India, they have had a few occasions of success where they have caused a massive upset.
Coming into the Champions Trophy they have had six straight ODI series wins at home. This propelled to them a rank of number 6 in world cricket. Last October Bangladesh also beat England which was also their first win against a Test nation other than Zimbabwe. They also won a test in Sri Lanka. Hence, form and self-belief is something that this side has in abundance. However, what they might lack is the temperament of playing in such a high-pressure encounter.
But the calming presence of Mashrafe Mortaza and Shakib Al Hasan will be a big bonus. Added to that is the youthful exuberance of Mustafizur Rahman and Mushfiqur Rahim. Tamim Iqbal is another important player whose success at the top of the order will provide the much-needed impetus to the batting. Hence, in the semi-finals, if these players click then we may well witness a new chapter in cricketing history.