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We have proved our point, say Bangladesh
April 08, 2007 19:30 IST
Captain Habibul Bashar said Bangladesh had made a statement to the cricket world after his team's shock World Cup victory over top-ranked South Africa on Saturday.
Bangladesh, ranked ninth in the 11-team world standings, racked up their World Cup record total of 251-8 and then bowled out a dispirited South Africa for just 184 to claim their first points in the second-stage Super Eights with a 67-run win.
The Bangladeshis have registered occasional upsets in previous matches but skipper Bashar suggested this win was the best because it came in the latter stage of a World Cup.
"This is pretty big," Bashar told reporters. "Every win is important for Bangladesh but this win is more important.
"We wanted to show when we came into the Super Eights that we were not there just to make the numbers up. We wanted to win points. We now have a chance for the semi-finals but we need to work really hard."
Having heavily lost to defending champions Australia and fancied New Zealand already, and with games approaching against England, Ireland and West Indies, Bangladesh's chances of making the last four would appear slim, but at least they can now hope.
South Africa had beaten Sri Lanka and World Cup debutants Ireland before this game and their passage to the semi-finals, which had seemed inevitable, is now quite uncertain. They have four points and Bangladesh have two.
Bashar praised Aftab Ahmed and Mohammad Ashraful for their fearless approach to the South African attack after the duo shared a fifth-wicket stand of 76.
Man-of-the-match Ashraful dominated the innings with his entertaining knock of 87 from 83 balls, Aftab also played his part with a crucial 35 off 43.
"Ashraful played a wonderful innings for us and Aftab was a really important player for us too," Bashar said. "But we want him (Aftab) to get an 80 or a 90 rather than a brilliant 30 or 40."
Bangladesh fly out of Guyana on Sunday morning for their next match with England in Barbados on Wednesday.
The seven-week World Cup culminates on April 28 with the final in Barbados.
The Cup: The Complete Coverage
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