Tigers Win by Six Wickets
Set a target of 319 for victory, Bangladesh stuttered at the beginning, losing Soumya Sarkar off the fifth ball of the mighty chase. But given the points table situation, Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah were fully aware of the importance of winning this match.
Bangladesh came into this match with three points from as many matches, having a tangible shot at making the quarterfinals ahead of England, whom it plays next.
Iqbal and Mahmudullah consolidated with a solid second-wicket partnership of 139 off 130 balls to take Bangladesh to 144 in the 24th over before Iain Wardlaw, the medium pacer, went past the defence of Mahmudullah, who scored a run-a-ball 62.
But immediately after that, Iqbal (95 off 100) was trapped leg before by Josh Davey, five runs short of a fifth One-Day International century.
Shakib Al Hasan, batting at No. 5, and Rahim did not let the required net run-rate drop, hitting quick-fire fifties to take Bangladesh closer to its target. Rahim hit six fours and two sixes on his way to a 42-ball knock of 60, before departing in the 38th over, caught at long-on off Davey’s bowling.
It was now up to Shakib and Sabbir Rehman to take Bangladesh over the line. Rehman hit 42 off 40 balls and remained unbeaten alongside Shakib (52 n.o. off 41), who brought up the winning runs, and his fifty, with a boundary over third man in the 48th over.
Scotland’s dream of bagging that elusive first win in a World Cup match remained unachieved despite Kyle Coetzer’s brilliantly scripted ton earlier in the day.
On a bright sunny day in Nelson, expecting the grassy pitch to assist his pacers, Mashrafe Mortaza, the Bangladesh captain, won the toss and chose to field. It certainly wasn’t a bad choice, as Scotland found out, losing two quick wickets in Callum MacLeod (11) and Hamish Gardiner (19).
Struggling at 38 for 2, it looked like Scotland was going to struggle with the bat once again. But a consolidating 78-run partnership off 85 balls between Coetzer and Matt Machan for the third wicket not only took Scotland past the 100-run mark without further hiccups, but also frustrated Bangladesh, whose spinners failed to capitalise on the early wickets.
Machan (35 off 50 balls) took his time, knocking the ball through the gaps and playing the supporting role in the partnership, while Coetzer took it upon himself to keep the net run-rate going.
Rehman, the right-arm offspinner, finally broke the partnership in the 24th over, catching Machan off his own bowling, and, in the process, picking up his first ODI wicket.
This brought Preston Mommsen, the Scotland captain, to the crease with his team at 116 for 3. With more than half the quota of overs still left to deal with, the experienced duo looked to build on the platform they now had so the batsmen to follow could capitalise in the death overs.
And they did that with precision, adding 141 runs off just 113 deliveries for the fourth wicket to give Scotland hope of going past the 300-run mark for the first time in its World Cup history.
Coetzer was the aggressor in the partnership, scoring quickly and reaching his century with a big six off Rubel Hossain’s bowling in the 38th over. His ton – the first by a Scotland batsman scored in a World Cup match – came off just 103 deliveries.
Bangladesh finally managed to get rid of Mommsen (39 off 85) in the 43rd over when the batsman, looking to step on the accelerator, ended up being caught by Soumya Sarkar at deep midwicket off Nasir Hossain’s bowling.
Coetzer fell two overs later, having tonked 156 off 134 balls, in an innings studded with 17 fours and four sixes.
With just over five overs to go after that, Richie Berrington and Mathew Cross played short cameos to help Scotland post 318 for 8, its highest total against a Test-playing nation.
Taskin Ahmed returned best figures for Bangladesh, picking up three wickets for 43 runs.