CWC2015In a battle between two sides with contrasting styles, Bangladesh did a marvelous job of successfully crossing 318 required for victory against a spirited Scotland side. Bangladesh didn’t have their specialist opening batsman Anamul Haque, who got injured while fielding earlier but they rode on their solid determination to record their highest ODI chase and defeated Scotland by six wickets. Every Bangla batsman contributed towards attaining their aim and enhanced their chances of making it to the quarterfinals. But before that could happen, the brave Scottish side piled up 318/8 in 50 overs. One man, Kyle Coetzer, led them at the crease for nearly 45 overs of the Scotland innings. Like a man overcome by spirited virtues, Coetzer refused to get out. He got small contributions from his colleagues but remained unfazed when wickets fell on the other side. When he fell at the team score of 269/5, Scotland still had 32 balls left in the match but the remaining Scotland batsmen took the total to 318 and set a strong challenge for the Bangla side. No one was surprised, when Kyle Coetzer was named the player of the match for his 134-ball 156. Bangladesh had a tough challenge but they proved equal to the task and overhauled the score with nearly two overs remaining. It was the third time in their ODI history that Bangladesh finished as winners in a 300+plus chase. While Bangladesh had the advantage of several competent batsmen to put up the chase, Scotland depended only on Coetzer.

After winning the toss, Bangladesh decided to take the field as Kyle Coetzer and Calum MacLeod opened the batting for Scotland. Coetzer didn’t begin scoring from the first ball. As a matter of fact, he was too slow having scored just 7 runs off 16 balls after 10 overs of the Scotland innings and by that time, they had already lost 2 wickets as the score read 39/2. Skipper Mashrafe Mortaza looked pleased at his decision to bowl first. Coetzer was quiet compared to his colleagues; MacLeod and Hamish Gardiner. It was like watching someone in test-match cricket when Coetzer played. The 31 year old Coetzer watched his younger colleagues go for aggressive shots but he refused to be drawn into the attacking mould. MacLeod and Gardiner both fell by the 10th over and Coetzer was joined by Matt Machan, who is one of Scotland’s key players. Coetzer is not talked about the Scottish cricket press in the same breath as many of his younger colleagues. The guy scored his first boundary only in the 13th over and crossed the double-digit score only then. After Coetzer had taken 37 balls for his 29 runs, he began to open out in the 20th over from Shakib Al Hasan, in which he collected 10 runs after Machan had taken a single of the first ball. Just when Bangladesh’s anxiety soared, the second wicket partnership was broken, when Sabbir Rahman coaxed Machan into playing straight back but uppishly. It was the Bangladesh’s leggie’s first ODI wicket. Machan’s departure brought Scotland skipper Preston Mommsen. By this time, Coetzer was already in the short-format style and his scoring tempo jumped. He reached his hundred in 38th over with a six off Rubel Hossain and added invaluable 141 runs for the fourth wicket with Mommsen. The 300+ score was already on cards, when Coetzer departed as the fifth wicket as Matt Cross and Richie Berrington ensured that Scotland ended with 318/8.

For Bangladesh 319 was far too much to chase. They were already handicapped by the absence of their opener Anamul Haque, who had hurt his right shoulder while fielding. But they didn’t lack in conviction and courage. Make-shift opener Soumya Sarkar lost his wicket in the second over as Bangladesh started the chase. But Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah settled down to add 139 for the second wicket. Though Bangladesh were slightly behind the required rate, their confidence got bolstered by two frontline batsmen showing guts. After Mahmudullah’s departure, Tamim added 57 with Mushfiqur Rahim. Now the tempo was back and runs came at will. After Mushfiqur fell at 247 in the 38th over, Shakib Al Hasan Sabbir Rahman carried on merrily overhauling Scotland’s score and registering a great victory for Bangladesh.

Bangladesh had the advantage of having several quality batsmen in their ranks and they were generally unruffled against an unimpressive Scotland bowling attack. New Zealand are Pool A toppers but Bangladesh are fourth, just behind Australia with Sri Lanka at the second spot. For the quarterfinal spot, the match between Bangladesh and England will be a virtual play-off. The victory against Scotland would have boosted their morale several notches.