Bangladesh improves Cricket World Cup quarterfinal chances
Bangladesh improved its chances of reaching the quarterfinals at the Cricket World Cup on Thursday. For Scotland, though, it was the same old story.
Tamim Iqbal scored 95 runs as Bangladesh achieved its largest successful chase of 319 runs in the one-day international format of the game to beat Scotland by six wickets at Nelson, New Zealand.
The win moved Bangladesh into fourth place in Pool A, level on points with Australia but with an inferior net run rate.
Scotland remained on the same number of points it has had since it first played at the World Cup in 1999 - zero. This is the third Cricket World Cup for Scotland and it came into the tournament having lost all eight previous matches - five in 1999 when it finished 12th of 12 teams, and three in 2007 when it was 15th of 16.
The Scots came agonizingly close a week ago at another South Coast island town - Dunedin, west of Nelson - but lost by one wicket to Afghanistan. The Afghans scored the winning runs with just three balls to spare.
The outlook doesn't get any better for Scotland, either - its last two matches are against 1996 champions Sri Lanka, also the runners-up in the last two World Cup tournaments, and four-time champion Australia.
Scotland posted 318-8 thanks in large part to a record-breaking 156 from opener Kyle Coetzer - Scotland's first century in a World Cup match. But Iqbal's innings of 95 from 100 balls, which was the highest by a Bangladesh batsman in a World Cup match, and his partnership of 139 with Mohammad Mahmudullah (62) enabled his team to reach its target with 11 balls to spare.
''It's very tough to take,'' Scotland captain Preston Mommsen said. ''We did a lot of things right today but unfortunately we couldn't put the full package together. We just couldn't create enough chances to get 10 wickets.''
Bangladesh has beaten Afghanistan and Scotland and shared points with Australia in a washed-out match. But it, too, has tough matches remaining against England and New Zealand and may have to win one of those games to ensure it progresses.
''Our bowlers haven't bowled well but the good thing is the batters got runs, especially with a big match (against England) coming up,'' Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said. ''We still have two chances.''
In the only match Friday, defending champion India plays the West Indies in a key Pool B match. India, which can clinch a quarterfinal place with a victory, won't be certain of which version of the West Indies squad will show up.
Will it be the one which lost by four wickets to second-tier Ireland, or the one which rebounded to beat 1992 champion Pakistan by 150 runs and Zimbabwe by 73 runs, or the one that lost by a whopping 257 runs to South Africa in its last match when it was bowled out for 151 runs in the 34th over?
''We're going to be aggressive, we're going to play our normal style of cricket,'' West Indies captain Jason Holder said. ''We're still a force to be reckoned with in this competition.''