New Delhi: The last few days for Bangladesh cricket have proved to be nothing less than a sweet dream. Following a successful World Cup 2015 campaign down under, the Bangla tigers completed a rare 3-0 whitewash against Pakistan in ODI series and also won a lone T20, a feat which was more like a one-sided contest.
Continuing their good show, Bangladesh have managed to draw the first test of the two match series. The significance of this drawn test can be understood from the fact that Pakistan had led Bangladesh 8-0 in past test matches.
Even after being awarded Test status in 2000, Bangladesh were still considered a minnow in a sea of big fish, a small team prone to huge defeats. But the situation has significantly changed now. In 2015 in particular, they have been playing competitive cricket consistently.
They qualified for the quarterfinals of the 2015 World Cup for the first time after defeating and ousting England from the tournament convincingly. However, they lost to India in quarters which ended their most successful run in any ICC tournament and also the dream of lifting the most prized trophy of world cricket.
Gone are the days when Bangladesh depended on a couple of star players in order to eke out a win. The emergence of several performers and their maturity has given new hope to the supporters of Bangladesh.
Bangladesh's sensational 3-0 ODI series triumph over Pakistan has been lauded by the country's entire cricketing fraternity and more than anything, the cricket-crazy public are delighted with the fact that the Tigers have finally come of age.
Less than two decades ago, Bangladesh were today's Afghanistan in cricket, the new kids everyone welcomed into the neighborhood. At the 1999 World Cup, they were able to create genuine optimism about the future. They beat Scotland and created a big upset by defeating Pakistan – the eventual finalists. Only Australia, with Adam Gilchrist and Tom Moody in punishing mood, blew them away.
The Tigers then waited for 16 years to register their first win over Pakistan across all the formats and it was a matter of just five days when they outclassed their Asian rivals to seal the one-day series. The series win meant Pakistan became the fourth Test-playing nation after West Indies, New Zealand and Zimbabwe to concede an ODI series whitewash to the Tigers.
Interestingly, they have clean sweeped the Kiwis on two occasions – in 2010 and in 2013. That was when the Bangladesh cricket was certainly on the rise.
And recently they outclassed Pakistan in the three-match ODI battle courtesy two Tamim Iqbal tons before a maiden hundred from Soumya Sarkar.