Bangladesh have caused the third major upset in as many days to eliminate New Zealand from the Champions Trophy.
Set 266 for victory, Bangladesh were reduced to 4-33 inside 12 overs before a record 224-run stand between Shakib Al Hasan (114) and Mahmudullah (102 not out) put the Tigers within nine runs of the eventual five-wicket victory.
The win, which follows the surprise triumphs of Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Group A, means Bangladesh stay alive but need England to beat Australia on Saturday or the fixture to be washed out to advance to the semi-finals.
Friday’s match had plenty of twists and turns, starting with the run out of Black Caps captain Kane Williamson, who won the toss and elected to bat after rain delayed play for an hour.
Williamson and Ross Taylor calmly moved New Zealand from a spot of bother at 2-69 to relative safety at 2-152 in the 30th over before the skipper charged for a suicide single, retreated and was run out for 57.
Taylor’s dismissal nine overs later sparked a collapse of 5-51 and continued the unwanted trend of New Zealand’s innings falling away at the back end.
Recalled off-spinner Mosaddek Hossain was the chief destroyer, thrown the ball for the first time in the 42nd over by his bold captain Mashrafe Mortaza and with it he collected 3-13.
The next twist came when Black Caps spearhead Tim Southee discovered the movement that’s eluded practically every fast bowler in the tournament to date.
With a swinging new ball at his disposal, Southee wrecked Bangladesh’s top order, first by removing star opener Tamim Iqbal with the second ball of the match before he added Sabbir Rahman and Soumya Sarkar to his collection.
When speedster Adam Milne breached the defences of second-drop Mushfiqur Rahim and found the timber, Bangladesh were 4-33 and a long, long way from victory.
But it was there, at rock bottom, where Shakib and Mahmudullah rebuilt the innings, first with solid defence, quick singles and discipline and then some more expansive stroke play.
To be fair, the duo didn’t look troubled as their partnership passed 200 to be comfortably the highest for any wicket in ODI cricket for Bangladesh.
Williamson tried everything – spin, seam, short stuff, slow stuff – but nothing worked on a pitch that was slightly in favour of the batters, but only just.
It became apparent with each thunderous boundary that the race to the finish line was over – Bangladesh had gutsed it out in spectacular fashion – but the race to 100 was still on.
The pair were side by side every step of the way, right up until they were both on 98 before Shakib pinched a single, Mahmudullah scampered through for a leg bye and the veteran hooked a Milne short ball for six to reach triple-figures first.
Shakib did not pause for celebration, instead he crunched two more fours in the 47th over to reduce the victory margin to just nine runs. A third lusty swing brought about his undoing, castled by Trent Boult for a magnificent 114.
Mahmudullah did not lose focus as he pulled Boult to the deep square leg rope to bring up his third ODI century – all of which have come in ICC events, the last in 2015 that knocked England out of the World Cup.
Champions Trophy 2017 Guide
Squads: Every Champions Trophy nation
2 June – New Zealand v Australia, No Result
4 June – India beat Pakistan by 124 runs
5 June – Australia v Bangladesh, No Result
6 June – England beat New Zealand by 87 runs
9 June – New Zealand v Bangladesh, Cardiff (D)
10 June – England v Australia, Edgbaston (D)
11 June – India v South Africa, The Oval (D)
12 June – Sri Lanka v Pakistan, Cardiff (D)
14 June – First semi-final (England v B2), Cardiff (D)
15 June – Second semi-final (A2 v B1), Edgbaston (D)
18 June – Final, The Oval (D)
19 June – Reserve day (D)