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Whatmore praises Bangladesh
N.Ananthanarayanan | March 26, 2007 11:04 IST
Bangladesh chased a revised target of 96 in gathering gloom after Bermuda scored a challenging 94 for nine in the rain-affected final Group B match that was restricted to 21 overs.
"This is very significant for us," Whatmore told a news conference. "It was something that I personally knew we had the potential to do. It is reality now."
Bangladesh, who needed only to avoid defeat, joined group winners Sri Lanka in the Super Eights, their victory pushing India out of the competition.
"This game was the most difficult you could be in to qualify," the Australian said. "Chasing that total was never easy. The ball was doing all sorts of things in the first 10 overs."
Bermuda seamer Saleem Mukuddem took three early wickets to leave Bangladesh struggling on 37-3.
"Yes, my heart was pumping a little bit," Whatmore added. "The boys haven't been in this situation before. They have done very, very well."
Whatmore hoped his unfancied team can cause some more upsets in the next round.
"The players will have a wonderful experience to participate in a major tournament against six or seven best teams left."
Skipper Habibul Bashar said Bangladesh have proved that they were capable of beating any team.
Bangladesh have beaten India twice and champions Australia and Sri Lanka once each since returning from the 2003 World Cup without a single win.
"We've worked very hard in the last year and we are playing as a team which is very important for us."
Bermuda skipper Irvine Romaine praised the fighting spirit of his amateur side.
"We didn't know when we were going to stay on the field and when we were going to come off," he said, referring to the stop-start Bermuda innings.
"We really wanted to put up a challenge, the guys were up for it," he said. "I wish it was a 50 over game."
Romaine said the Cup would help the associate nation.
"It has really been amazing," he said. "It really showed every game we were getting better, getting used to the competition."
Asked whether Bermuda let India down by not beating Bangladesh, he laughed.
"A quality team like India shouldn't be relying on Bermuda."
The seven-week event ends with the final in Barbados on April 28.
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