ICC Men’s World Cup 2011 was co-hosted by Bangladesh & India and both teams belonged to Group B. India also bagged the championship that year with Dhoni’s superbly entertaining innings. But the match between India and Bangladesh had some nuances to add to cricket’s history and got attention for more than one reason.
India Scored 370 Runs for 4 Wickets
That’s a massive target to put on the scoreboard for the opponents and India did just that ensuring they utilized every bit of opportunities the match offered them. Moreover, it was the 1st m,atch and obviously, a team like India- who were the hot favorite that year with the possibility of being the champions- would definitely want to start their campaign with the brightest possible victory.
And so they did! They beat Bangladesh- a comparatively younger team in the tournament- by 87 runs, meaning Bangladesh scored 283 runs! Now, that is something to note about the so-called ‘minnows’ of that time, which will be discussed later here.
Virat Kohli Started His World Cup Journey with a Century
First of all, this was the match that introduced King Kohli to the World Cup cricket tournaments. And what a brilliant debut that was! A total of 100 runs came from 83 balls with a strike rate of 120.48. He remained not out in that match. This century had 10 magnificent boundaries in total- eight 4’s and two 6’s. With that match, Virat Kohli roaringly claimed his throne as the King of Indian Batting.
The Almost Unstoppable Virender Sehwag
If you thought Virat Kohli was the entertainer of the match, then you’re up for one of the best surprises of your life here. The opener of the match- the tournament in extension- scored a gigantic total of 175 runs from 140 balls in that match! The strike rate was 125.0 and his innings had 19 boundaries in total- fourteen 4’s and five 6’s; that’s more like the total number of boundaries scored by an entire team at times almost unstoppable innings were stopped by none other than the multiple-times holder of the title ‘world’s number one all-rounder’ Shakib Al Hasan. He bolded Sehwag out. That was probably the best way to go. And, with such a huge team total at the cost of only 4 wickets, it doesn’t take much to say that the Bangladeshi ballers were not having their day in that match.
Bangladesh Scored 283 Runs for 9 Wickets
With such a huge, almost untouchable, target to chase, the Bangladeshi batsmen came to the field but only to be the witness of yet another ‘introduction’ in international cricket. Shanthakumaran Sreesanth balled a yorker on the 4th ball of the innings and appealed for an LBW which was initially denied by the umpire. Captain MS Dhoni appealed for the TV umpire to do a replay.
It showed that the ball could have missed the leg stump and so, the initial decision by the umpire sustained. But in this process, Dhoni introduced the ‘umpire referral’ system in World Cup cricket. This, however, created a lot of controversies in the future, but that is something to discuss on some other day.
Bangladeshi Batsmen Replied with Half Centuries
The ICC Men’s World Cup 2011 saw a moderately balanced team of Bangladeshi cricketers. It was the 2nd time when Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, and Tamim Iqbal participated in the World Cup tournament. And these comparatively younger cricketers didn’t think they didn’t have a chance against the veteran, giant India.
They started their game with determination and managed to secure 51 runs in the first 5 overs. But then started the fall with the dismissal of the 2 top-order batsmen resulting in a slower run rate. After that, Indian ballers kept on taking wickets at regular intervals and Bangladesh’s innings ended at 283 runs at the cost of 9 wickets after playing all of the 50 overs.
Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan both scored half-centuries with 70 runs and 55 runs respectively. However, the Bangladesh squad failed to develop any sustainable partnership. Therefore, although the 283 runs was a commendable total- in fact, it was one of this team’s highest total scores till that time and did give the Indian ballers some work to do- it failed to even challenge the target the Indian batsmen set.
A Good Show by Indian Ballers
Just because the batsmen were magnificent at their performance, doesn’t mean the ballers lagged behind. In fact, they didn’t take the opponent lightly even though they had a fairly large score to win the match. Zaheer Khan- the lead pacer of the team- took 2 wickets at an economic run rate of 4.00. On the other hand, Munaf Patel picked up 4 wickets at an economic rate of 4.80.
A Mistake in Judgment?
Bangladesh won the toss and decided to field first. Regardless of the pitch condition, it was supposedly a wrong decision- well, it turned out to be wrong in the end, for batting first would at least not hamper their run rate in the group stage. Then again, with Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, and Gautam Gambhir in the batting squad- no balling line-up can possibly seem challenging enough.
And Bangladesh didn’t even have their most experienced pacer Mashrafe Mortuza in the squad. Clearly, Captain Shakib started the campaign with wrong judgment. Yet, their effort to face the challenge with a comparatively younger team was much commendable.
The 1st match of ICC Men’s World Cup 2011 between India and Bangladesh took place on February 19th in Mirpur, Dhaka. This was the only time the two co-hosts clashed in that tournament. Bangladesh did lose the match against India that day, but didn’t lose hope; in fact, they gained the confidence to face the other big guns like South Africa, England, and West Indies.
Bangladesh ended their World Cup journey after losing 50% of the 6 group matches and failing to secure a place in the next round to West Indies, for not having enough run rate, though both had 6 points. But that was the beginning of India’s championship campaign under the determined and focused leadership of Captain Cool MS Dhoni.