Bangladesh was thrilling at times in CT17 but defeat against reigning champions India in the semi-finals killed the dream of a first appearance in a showpiece final.
Lost to England by 8 wickets
Match abandoned against Australia
Beat New Zealand by 5 wickets
Lost to India by 9 wickets
What went wrong?
Until the India juggernaut pulled up at Edgbaston, Bangladesh had ridden its luck and charmed the crowds to escape a very tough group containing Australia, England and New Zealand. Ultimately Bangladesh lacked the firepower to inconvenience India in the semi-final as Kohli, Dhawan and Sharma cruised to their target with 12 overs to spare, but despite taking a shellacking in that match, it can still be pleased with its progress. A semi-final berth, however fortuitously they may have got there, relying on the rain-off against Australia to ensure their match against New Zealand still had something riding on it, represents an excellent final result for an emerging team.
Positives to take home?
Plenty. Their big players, at least with the bat, came to the party. Tamim Iqbal confirmed once and for all his world-class credentials with 293 tournament runs – third on the run-scorers’ list, with just the final to play.
While Mahmudullah’s 107-ball century against New Zealand from No.6 in the order, rescuing his team from 33-4 to keep Bangladesh in the tournament, was perhaps the innings of CT17. And the reliable old-hands Shakib Al Hasan (168 runs) and Mushfiqur Rahim (163) both played important knocks. Bangladesh will all be wiser and more battle-hardened for the experience of playing a world semi-final.
With the ball, Taskin Ahmed, just 22, was outstanding against New Zealand and looks to have a bright future ahead of him.
Areas for improvement?
As the skipper Mashrafe Mortaza admitted after the India match, the side still need to develop its containing skills with the ball on pitches such as those it encountered at many English grounds. Mustafizur Rahman may be just 21 and has had his injury problems in the last year, but they will be concerned that he failed to have the anticipated impact, while the outstanding young off-spinner Mehedi Hasan only played one match, though he will surely feature more prominently on future tours.
The second-string batsmen were not as effective as Mortaza would have hoped, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes and Sabbir Rahman only flickering when given a chance, but it must be borne in mind that Bangladesh’s team is still relatively raw, especially in foreign conditions, and will all be stronger for this experience.
Another area of concern will be how to inject greater muscle and boundary-clearing power into their mid-to-late order for those all-important death overs.
Bangladesh travel to South Africa in September for a Test and ODI series, and with conditions not dissimilar to those found in England, it should treat the tour as excellent preparation for the ICC World Cup in 2019, again in England.