Moments of Glory (1)

That win helped us get Test status

Khaled Mahmud | Published: 22:30, Apr 28,2020

 
 

A file photo from May 31, 1999 shows Bangladesh’s Khaled Mahmud celebrating the wicket of Pakistan’s Saleem Malik during their ICC World Cup match at Northampton. — AFP photo

The 1999 ICC World Cup in England was memorable for me in every possible way. That was our first World Cup, ever. So we all were really very excited.

The match against Pakistan at Northampton was the very last match of our tour. Earlier, we played four matches and won only against Scotland. That was the reality. We did not expect that we will win against a big team or create an upset.

At that point, Pakistan was at the top of the group. They were a very strong side, strong contender for the trophy. We always tried to play well with all our effort but in reality beating a side like Pakistan never came across our minds. Not even in that morning.

After being invited to bat, when we posted more than 200 runs on the board; there was a glimpse of hope. If we could bowl really well and take some early wickets, we could turn the table.

When Pakistan came to bat we tried to pick early wickets because we knew that batsmen like Saeed Anwar, Inzamam-ul-Haq will not spare us if we gave them the slightest chance.

First to go was Shahid Afridi as Mehrab Hossain took a fine catch off my delivery. Next to go was Anwar, he was run out. Then I took two very crucial wickets of Inzamam and Salim Malik. Both were trapped leg before, both in-swinging deliveries.

I think those two wickets were a huge blow for Pakistan as their middle order got totally rattled. I guess we took their five wickets for around 40 runs [42]. Then Moin khan also departed early. At that point, we realised that we were very close to winning this match.

Finally, when Khaled Mashud broke the stumps to run out Saqlain Mushtaq, we emerged victorious, creating one of the biggest upsets of that World Cup.

Now when I look back, I find that the win against Pakistan had a huge impact. The win against Scotland was our first win in World Cup, but defeating a team like Pakistan who later went onto play the final was a big boost for our campaign for Test status.

You can say, that win paved the way for our development. It is one of the most remarkable win for Bangladesh and I am very proud to be a part of that history.

Another funny thing happened after the presentation. I was adjudged man of the match and the prize was a big bottle of champagne. After the presentation ceremony ended, I don’t know who from the crowd snatched it from me and later in the dressing room I got it back, but empty!

 

Samiur Rahman writes the interview

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