Looking back, Hyderabad, Deccan, that is where our first International ODI win was. We just had our 100th win in this format beating Afghanistan by 141 runs. Triple digit wins are no longer uncharted territory for us. Congratulations to BCB, players, fans, and all who were directly or indirectly involved!!!!
Bangladesh's First ODI Team, 1986
A little history lesson here. Bangladesh played their first ODI against Pakistan at Tyronne Fernando Stadium on March 31, 1986. Well, at that time the stadium was known as Moratuwa Stadium (Sri Lanka). Needless to say, we had no clue and was happy go around to play the teams that we only dreamed to compete against. More like our Olympic teams now go and participate. We were in awe just for making history. Our very own 1st ODI match. We lost by 7 wickets. Fast forward 12 years, 19 more matches we played in different tournaments (All against big guns - except two - Kenya) and lost in all of them. The closest loss was against Zimbabwe (got test status in 1992) by 48 runs (on 1997) and against India by 4 wickets (1998).
May 17th 1998. There was something different in the air in that fine summer heat at Hyderabad. The hot sunrays were neutralized by the occasional sudden waft of breeze. God sent, I tell you. Three days before, we played our first match of the tri-series against India and lost. But this match felt different. 20 times before we took the field and always came up short. 12 long years is a loooooong time. Game against India on May 14th had big names. Names like Azaharuddin, Ganguly, Dravid didn't phase this team. Aminul Islam Bulbul's (stand in captain for Akram Khan) was ready to fight and led from the front - shots were fired with a splendid 70, 4 different bowlers got an Indian wicket, Atahar Ali (yes, my best BD player back then) had a figure of 10-0-33-2 and of course he was the opener for BD as well. Khaled Mashud had three catches behind the wicket and India labored to 46th over to get a win. Ajay Jadeja's game high 73 decided the match in their favor. So in the second match, Kenya, a fine team at that time, with some great players, knew that Bangladesh would fight tooth and nails. So the plot was set. We had lost two matches against them at Nairobi the year before, so we had the revenge factor going as well. We saw them as our associate rival.
Toss and first innings: (Bowling)
This was a day-night match. Kenya won the toss. Immediately took advantage and wanted to bat. BD players had to bowl and field under the scorching sun for a while. Captain Akram Khan was back and replaced Sanwar Hossain who opened the previous match and got a out for zero. The lefty Morshed Ali Khan drew the first blood and removed the dangerous Otieno(the Kenyan Kaluwitharana) for 5. Khaled Mahmood SUJON, yup our Chacha, ever so put his hand up and bowled Steve Tikolo (Associate version of Viv Richards) and got the other opener run-out. Kenya three down in 19.2 overs with 84 runs on board. Then again he bowled Ravi Shah their highest scorer at 52 and broke an important and dangerous partnership. Meanwhile, Enamul Haque (now the umpire) and Mohammad Rafique (bossman before Shakib) imposed their will and got Kenya all out at 236 in 49 overs. Mo Rafique took 3 wickets and Enamul Hoque Moni took 2. This was a par score and the chase would be nervy. Chasing 200+ was a big hurdle back then. We only crossed 200 twice before in our history.
Second Innings: (Batting)
Since Sanwar was not there to open, Akram Khan sent Mohammad Rafique to open with Atahar Ali. This tactical move was one of most brilliant decision taken at that time. Pinch hitting wasn't that popular then. Otherwise we would have been kind of forced to expose Bulbul too early. Mo Rafique took the game to the Kenyans. A free flowing 77 of 87 balls. Opening stand of 137 in 26 overs. 11 4s and a six. Job well done and some. Atahar missed his half century and was unfortunately runout at 47. Nannu, Bulbul and Akram took us home. Kenyans bowled 23 wides and 7 no balls (During those days there wasn't any free hit). History was made.
We won our first ODI comfortably by 6 wickets. Mo Rafique received the Man-of-the-Match award. 12 years and suddenlyMonkey off the back!!!!
The heroes of that day were: Atahar Ali, Mo Rafique, Minhajul Abedin Nannu, Aminul Islam Bulbul, Akram Khan*, Naimur Rahman Durjoy, Khaled Mashud Sujon, Khaled Mahmood Pilot, Enamul Hoque Moni, Morshed Ali Khan, and Hasibul Hossain Shanto.
That was the first of the 100 we have now. Each one is special for the players and fans. But that 1st one should be the most memorable one. Scorecard. We pray and hope to see our boys get the next 100 wins fairly quickly.
Our first Home win was against the Mighty Indians in December 26, 2004. That was our fifth win in our first 102 matches. The second half looks decent, doesn't it?