The last time Bangladesh had played a World Cup match, their fans stoned the team coach and attacked the home of captain Shakib al-Hasan. Last night they might have carried him on their shoulders on a pathway adorned with gold.
Bangladesh beat England in a scintillating match by two wickets with five balls to spare. All had looked up for them and their World Cup seemed over when they were 169 for 8, chasing 225 to win.
"At 169-8 I thought we'd lost the game but [Mohammad] Mahmudullah and Shafiul [Islam] showed how tough they are and they batted exceptionally well and it paid off," said Shakib, who was a the target of his countrymen's ire after his side's defeat to the West Indies when they were bowled out for 58.
"When they hit the last ball then I believed it but before then I never believed they could win us the game.
"It means a hell of a lot to the whole country as we are all very emotional about cricket."
Bangladesh won after Shafiul, who made 24 from 24 balls, and Mahmudullah shared a ninth-wicket partnership of 58 in 57 balls.
Tamim Iqbal, the vice-captain and opener who gave Bangladesh a blazing start to their chase with 38 from 26 balls, said: "You never know with cricket. It's unbelievable. We knew that he [Shafiul] could bat but not like that."
Andrew Strauss, the England captain, was as magnanimous as ever in defeat but expressed surprise that the first day-night match at Chittagong, which this was, should be in the World Cup. "There was a 20-over period where it was very, very bad," said Strauss. "Graeme Swann couldn't grip the ball at all. I think there's something not quite right if a spinner can't grip the ball in this part of the world where spin plays such an important role."
The dew affected England's ability to grip the ball but it was Bangladesh who kept their nerve at the climax.
Group A Details
New Zealand bt Kenya by 10 wkts
Sri Lanka bt Canada by 210 runs
Australia bt Zimbabwe by 91 runs
Pakistan bt Kenya by 205 runs
Australia bt New Zealand by seven wkts
Pakistan bt Sri Lanka by 11 runs
Zimbabwe bt Canada by 175 runs
Sri Lanka bt Kenya by nine wkts
Pakistan bt Canada by 46 runs
New Zealand bt Zimbabwe by 10 wkts
Australia v Sri Lanka: no result
Canada bt Kenya by five wkts
New Zealand bt Pakistan by 110 runs
Sri Lanka bt Zimbabwe by 139 runs
Remaining fixtures (GMT)
New Zealand v Canada: Tomorrow Mumbai 4am
Australia v Kenya: Tomorrow Bangalore 9am
Pakistan v Zimbabwe: Mon Kandy 9am
Australia v Canada: Wed Bangalore 9am
New Zealand v Sri Lanka: 18 Mar Mumbai 9am
Australia v Pakistan: 19 Mar Colombo 9am
Zimbabwe v Kenya: 20 Mar Kolkata 4am
QF1: A1 v B4 23Mar Dhaka 8.30am
QF2: A2 v B3 24Mar Ahmedabad 9am
QF3: A3 v B2 25Mar Dhaka 8.30am
QF4: A4 v B1 26Mar Colombo 9am
Group B Details
India bt Bangladesh by 87 runs
England bt Netherlands by six wkts
South Africa bt West Indies by seven wkts
Bangladesh bt Ireland by 27 runs
India tied with England
West Indies bt Netherlands by 215 runs
Ireland bt England by three wkts
South Africa bt Netherlands by 231 runs
West Indies bt Bangladesh by nine wkts
England bt South Africa by six runs
India bt Ireland by five wkts
India bt Netherlands by five wkts
West Indies bt Ireland by 44 runs
Bangladesh bt England by two wkts
India v South Africa: Today Nagpur 9am
Bangladesh v Netherlands: Mon Chittagong 3.30am
Ireland v South Africa: Tues Kolkata 9am
England v West Indies: Thurs Chennai 9am
Netherlands v Ireland: 18 Mar Kolkata 4am
Bangladesh v South Africa: 19 Mar Dhaka 3.30am
India v West Indies: 20 Mar Chennai 9am
Winner QF1 v Winner QF3 - 29 Mar Colombo 10am
Winner QF2 v Winner QF4 - 30 Mar Mohali 10am
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