Bangladesh, as expected, have progressed into the Super-10 stage of the World T20, which starts from Tuesday. Bangladesh booked their spot, defeating Oman in the must-win encounter at HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala by 54 runs (D/L method) in a rain-affected match, Sunday.
Tamim Iqbal was instrumental in helping Bangladesh win with a brilliant century, scoring a wonderful 103 runs from 63 balls. Iqbal will go into the World T20 Super-10 with immense confidence as the left-hander has been consistent in the qualifiers.
Bangladesh, who lost the toss, were asked to bat first by Oman, and they did not disappoint, though scoring runs was not easy for the Bangla Tigers in the first couple of overs. Openers, Iqbal and Soumya Sarakr, played cautiously as they only scored 29 runs in the first six overs.
But Iqbal gradually began to play his shots and there was no stopping him even after Bangladesh lost the wicket of Soumya in the seventh over. Iqbal and Sabbir Rahman played some aggressive shots to take the game away from Oman, who had started well with the ball early on.
Though Iqbal hogged the limelight with his brilliant batting display, one should also give credit to Sabbir, who played a huge role with the bat, scoring 26-ball 44. Iqbal's 97 run partnership, along with some late flourish by Shakib-Al-Hasan helped Bangladesh post 180 runs.
With such score, Bangladesh, who has some top class bowlers, were huge favourites to win the match. However, if Oman had any hopes of going close to the total, they needed a big hand from their top order.
Oman suffered the worst possible start with opener Zeeshan Maqsood losing his wicket in the second ball of the first over. With Oman required to score nine runs per over, they were in all sorts of trouble as they lost their second wicket in the fourth over when the score read 14 runs only.
However, Jitender Singh and Adnan Ilyas were slowly getting their eye in, but rain interrupted play when the score read 41 after the completion of the seventh over. Rain was always going to be a major problem as there were forecasts of heavy showers during the game.
When the game resumed, the total was revised, Oman had to score 152 in 16 overs, but they lost a wicket immediately in the eighth over via run out. Oman, who were trying to up the ante, lost the fourth wicket as well with 45 runs on the board. Such fall of wickets were not helping their team's cause.
Another spell of rain led to a new revised target - 120 off 12 overs. With Oman in search of quick runs, they began to lose wickets at regular intervals. Overall, they scored 65 runs in 12 overs.
Though Oman might be disappointed with their loss, they should be more than happy with their win against Ireland.
With this victory over Oman, Bangladesh have been pitted in a tough World T20 group, which already includes India, Pakistan, Australia and New Zealand. Though, Bangladesh might not be biggest team in the group, they have the players, who can excel in Indian conditions. It will come across as no surprise if Bangladesh register more than one victory in the competition.