THE Tigers won what they needed in the final of the tri-series in Dublin on Friday, with a crushing five-wicket win over West Indies. They earlier played in finals of multi-team events six times but with no luck. But this time in the seventh such event, they ended their title drought, with a Soumya Sarker fifty, 61 off 41 balls, setting up the case before Mosaddek Hossain hit an unbeaten 52 off 24 balls, guiding Bangladesh to 213-5 in 22.5 overs in a rain-curtailed match against a target of 210 in 24 overs that West Indies made. Requiring about nine runs an over, Bangladesh got off to a flying start with Soumya and Tamim Iqbal putting 59 runs in 5.3 overs. The Tigers crossed the 100-run mark in little over 10 overs, the quickest in their one-day international history. The newcomer Mosaddek proved his worth in the team, by, first, heading off a collapse and, then, taking on Fabien Allen of West Indies in the 22nd over to hit three sixes and a four to score 25 runs alone. Mahmudullah, unbeaten 19 off 21 balls, completed the win with a four, ending the jinx that Bangladesh had faced in past multi-team events.
The win is significant on a few counts. It ended the title drought of the Tigers in multi-team events. The Tigers performed as a team with consistency, which has not been frequently seen especially in recent times, in the whole tournament, winning four matches in a row. Seasoned players played well while a few newcomers such as Mosaddek made significant contribution to the team. The Tigers played without the star Sakib al-Hasan because of injuries, with Sabbir Rahman being promoted in the one-down position in the final. All this augurs well for Bangladesh in view of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales beginning on May 30. Bangladesh is sending one of its experienced teams for the World Cup this time as senior players, who account for about a half of the squad, have already played around 200 one-day international matches. This has also been the first win of the Tigers, who have been playing one-day internationals for about 33 years, in any tournament against Test-playing nations. The win is certainly to add to the morale of the Tigers all set to play in the World Cup.
It is expected that Bangladesh would do better in the Cricket World Cup if the managers of the team could keep the morales of the player. The cricket board and others involved in the management, under the circumstances, must head off and resolve any happening in the team that could demotivate the players in the run-up to the World Cup.