“Bangladesh look better than what they actually are. They escaped a sound thrashing at the hands of the marauding Aussies thanks to rain. Had that match gone on, Bangladesh would have been demoralized and made yet another silent exit. I am afraid that a drubbing awaits them tomorrow (Thursday) at the MCG.”
This message was posted on-line in response to an article titled 'Time to shed 'minnows' tag' on The Daily Star's website.
Whoever the gentleman is that made the comment, he was absolutely spot-on with his prediction about the MCG encounter.
The Tigers bowed out of the World Cup with a crushing 109-run defeat against holders India in the second quarterfinal and, more importantly, will now head home keeping that minnows tag firmly planted on their back.
India's victory was never in doubt when they posted a total beyond 300 on a massive ground, where the highest successful run chase is 297. The impressive Indian team needed one of their five top batsmen to fire and it was time for Rohit Sharma to do the honour under a trying situation when Bangladesh looked to assume control. Three wickets down and Rohit played a magnificent knock of 137 to not only break free from shackles in the company of Suresh Raina, but also prosper the progress of the innings, where India piled up almost double in last 25 compared to the first half.
The defeat is certainly a very painful blow for millions of Tigers fans who were riding on euphoria after their team's outstanding performances in the group stages. Actually yesterday was quite a different day as most of them stayed back at home, leaving the streets almost vacant, making it perhaps look like a true hartal for a different cause.
The fan may be fuming for some close calls that went against the Tigers at crucial junctures of the match that included the low full toss that got Rohit out in the deep on 90, only to be ruled out as a 'no ball' by square-leg umpire Aleem Dar; Mahmudullah's dismissal on the fine leg boundary; Mashrafee's confident leg-before appeal against Suresh Raina.
The first one was definitely not above waist-height as Aleem Dar concluded quickly without even consulting the third umpire. And had Ian Gould, the other umpire, ruled Raina out Mashrafee could have won that verdict. Mahmudullah's catch taken by Shikhar Dhawan right on the fine-leg boundary rope was inconclusive in TV replays.
These decisions sparked uproar in the social media but the harsh reality is that lower-ranked teams like Bangladesh have long been living as victims of errant umpiring decisions when they are up against the big names of world cricket.
However, it can hardly blot India's image as the most attractive and aggressive team in this World Cup. They are the deserving victors. They batted well, bowled brilliantly and fielded like hungry hounds.
Now it's time for the Tigers to return home with some pride, the pride of winning against England and pushing New Zealand to the limit in their own den. It's an inexperienced side that crumbled against the mighty Indians under pressure. But the good thing about this team is that it has the ability to overcome adversity. It's tough for the Tigers to produce four to five world-class batsmen soon, but one thing the Tigers can try and achieve is to match the Indian fielding and the sooner the better.
To India, good luck in the semi-final against either hosts Australia or Pakistan. India may prefer Pakistan over Australia (considering their experience in the 2003 World Cup final).