When Bangladesh beat Scotland a few days back, there was a sense of relief. But when they disposed of England by 15 runs in a thriller at the Adelaide Oval yesterday, the whole nation savoured something that it can really be proud of.
Two lethal full-length deliveries from paceman Rubel Hossain in the penultimate over, which heralded the fall of the England resistance in a match that swung from one end to the other like a pendulum, scripted a small piece of history for this fledgling cricketing nation.
The Tigers are now in World Cup's knock out stage for the first time and that too with a match in hand -- against New Zealand on March 13.
They did beat some big teams including England in their previous four World Cup appearances, but this victory was more satisfying because it was done with a purpose against a team desperate to avoid the embarrassment of taking an early flight back home.
The game went down to the wire in the last few overs with England looking like the team to take the game away from the firm grip of the Tigers. Stuart Broad hit the second ball of the 48th over for a six, Tamim Iqbal dropped dangerman Chris Woakes at mid-off and eventually that over produced 15 runs and England suddenly found themselves 15 runs far from victory with 12 deliveries and two wickets left.
But when Rubel knocked off the stumps of Broad and James Anderson with the first and third deliveries of the next over respectively, not many had noticed that the falling LED stumps literally painted the lush Adelaide green top into red and green.
So, looking for heroes! Better choose the eleven Tigers who were resolute to overcome early hiccups and showed the necessary discipline in batting for the second successive game and then produced a fiery display of pace bowling in defence of 275, considered as a below par total when England came out to bat.
Mahmudullah Riyad's hundred as the first by a Bangladeshi in World Cups, Mushfiqur Rahim's yet another master-class batting for 89 and the way Mashrafe Bin Mortaza led the pace attack like a true general were the highlights of a match that was capped off brilliantly by an unsung Rubel.
The right-arm pacer served a double blow to a well-placed England in the middle by dismissing Ian Bell and Eoin Morgan in the 27th over of the match.
There had been much talk about England's weakness against slow bowlers, but Bangladesh's pace attack has shown the world that they have got the ability to win the match against England for the second successive World Cup after their victory at Chittagong in 2011.
In the first part it was however the batting mastery from Riyad who anchored the Bangladesh innings brilliantly in company with Soumya Sarker and then Mushfiqur after James Anderson had reduced them to 8-2.
Young left-hander Soumya once again showed his class as his 96-run partnership with Riyad repaired the early damages. More importantly, the stylish left-hander played with such authority during his 40-ball 52 that it took away the early England initiatives.
England however bounced back in the match by taking two quick wickets of Soumya and Shakib Al Hasan, but Mushfiqur continued his good form in the tournament to share a 141-run partnership, which was the best for Bangladesh for any wicket in World Cups, with Riyad to give a substantial total to defend. Mushfiqur's innings was a mixture of patience and aggression but he was unlucky that he missed the hundred for 11 runs.
Riyad was simply outstanding on way to his maiden ODI hundred. His 138-ball 103 was a sheer example of a true batsmanship.