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Shakib Is 'Sorry' Again! PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 19 March 2011

A simple "sorry" from captain Shakib Al Hasan summed up Bangladesh's World Cup campaign which had begun with high hopes.

The Tigers crashed out of the running for the next level of Wold Cup after South Africa handed them out a crushing defeat on Saturday.

A win for the co-hosts on Saturday would have condemned England to an early exit but instead it was Shakib's men who have suddenly discovered they no longer have a role to play at the World Cup even though the sporting extravaganza will be continuing in their own backyard.

Their early demise handed neighbours India, West Indies and England a place in the last eight, meaning Bangladesh were the only co-host to miss out on the knockout stages of the Cup.

Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand and Pakistan are the qualifiers from Group A.

Bangladesh followed up their dismal 58 against the West Indies with another lacklustre batting display on Saturday and were shot out for just 78, much to the dismay of their fanatical fans.

While the majority of the 25,000-strong crowd had already abandoned their seats long before the last rites were completed, the few that stuck around vented their frustration by tossing their banners, caps and team jerseys towards the outfield.

Captain Shakib, the only Bangladeshi to reach double figures, could utter just two words to the supporters who roundly booed and jeered his team.

"Just sorry," the embarrassed skipper said.

"The way we finished the tournament was not the way we wanted to finish. We wanted to finish on a high. But that can happen in cricket.

"We didn't play good cricket throughout the tournament. Though we won some matches, we didn't play good cricket."

A huge roar went up in the stands when Bangladesh crawled past the 58-run mark, their lowest ever ODI score, but it was more out of relief than any expression of joy.

Twenty runs later, South Africa broke 162 million Bangladeshi hearts as they confirmed their position as Group B winners.

Captain Graeme Smith, who has been fighting his own battle for runs, took a positive step forward with a 45-run knock and along with Hashim Amla (51) gave the Proteas an ideal start with a 98-run stand.

Jacques Kallis (69) and Faf du Plessis (52) consolidated on the start and took South Africa to 284 for eight after they opted to bat first. The Proteas rested their pace bowling duo of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel but had enough firepower to continue their envious record of skittling all opponents in the World Cup so far.

Left-arm paceman Lonwabo Tsotsobe (3-14), who has been in and out of the side owing to the spinner-friendly conditions in the sub-continent, grabbed the opportunity with both hands and wreaked havoc with the new ball.

Another left-arm bowler, spinner in Robin Peterson, continued his good show and jumped to the joint second spot in the wicket-taker's table behind Pakistan's Shahid Afridi with his four-wicket haul on Saturday.


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