Bangladesh finally put an end to England’s misery in this World Cup by defeating them in an exciting game that ended this morning (my time). England won the toss and sent Bangladesh in and did well to restrict them to 275/7 off their 50 overs. As we have seen, a first innings score of 300 has become the minimum target, with 350 preferred on these batting-friendly pitches. Bangladesh had scored only 197/4 at the 40-over mark, and while a century by Mahmudullah and 89 by Mushfiqur Rahim pushed the score up, they could not step on the gas enough in the last ten overs as the England bowlers restricted them to just 78 more runs even though they had wickets in hand.
England should have been able to reach this score especially on the smallish Adelaide ground where the boundaries are closer but they kept losing wickets at a steady rate and that hampered their ability to score quickly enough. But at the 45 over mark they were 229/6, needing another 47 off 30 balls. With four wickets in hand, that seemed eminently achievable with Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes batting well. But Buttler’s departure at 238 followed immediately by a controversial close run-out of Chris Jordan set them back. Woakes and Stuart Broad fought back, helped by Tamim Iqbal dropping an easy catch offered by Woakes with the score at 256 leaving them needing just 20 runs off 15 balls,. But they could not exploit that chance to get to them to victory and they were all out for 260, 16 runs short of the target with 9 balls to spare.
This is not the first time that Bangladesh have beaten England in a World Cup so this does not qualify as a major upset, especially with England seeming so vulnerable throughout the tournament. But it is undoubtedly a big win for them and worthy of celebrations, since it is just the second time they have made the quarterfinals, the last time being in 2007.
With this loss, England is eliminated and now the team has to face the wrath of its own media and fans who can be ruthless. I feel sorry for the English players. This kind of piling on does not really do much good and can result in too dramatic shifts in policy rather than a focus on steady development. It also serves to demoralize players and create a breeding ground for the team dramas that have been endemic recently. They have a crop of good young players (Joe Root, James Taylor, Moeen Ali, Buttler, Woakes, Jordan) and the administration should use them as the nucleus around which to build a strong future team.