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The Electronic Telegraph Scotland v Bangladesh, Group-B
David Green in Edinburgh - 24 May 1999

Hamilton runs out of luck in chasing Bangladeshis

Bangladesh (185-9) bt Scotland (163) by 22 runs

In the tensest of matches at Raeburn Place both sides suffered early-innings collapses on a dry, bouncy pitch and both fought back nobly, Bangladesh holding their nerve well to earn victory.

They owed much to Minhazul Abedin, who came to the wicket when the side, having been put in, were 23 for four and remained to the end, his 68 beginning with firm defence and ending with bold hitting.

Scotland started as badly and looked doomed at 49 for five but Gavin Hamilton's aggressive 63, ended by an unlucky run-out, raised their hopes only for Bangladesh, showing huge desire for victory, to dash them.

Scotland made the worst possible start towards their seemingly modest target, Bruce Patterson falling lbw second ball to the rapid Hasibul Hussain, who then dug one in to flick Mike Smith's glove for a catch behind.

Manjural Islam, the fast left-armer, had Iain Philip lbw playing half-forward, Ian Stanger went the same way when Minhazul nipped in with one that held up and when James Brinkley miscued to mid-on, Scotland were 83 for six.

However, Hamilton was now settled, pushing the ball into gaps and running well with Alec Davies. He had scored his runs off only 71 balls, the fastest individual scoring of the match, when Davies straight drove Manjural.

The bowler got fingertips to the ball, which hit the stumps with the unfortunate Hamilton stranded. That was a crucial blow, compounded when Manjural brilliantly caught Davies and John Blain was run out by Naimur Rahman's direct hit.

When Asim Butt sliced Enamul Hoque to short third man, the joyful Bangladeshi supporters poured on to the pitch to embrace their heroes and acclaim the most important victory in the country's short cricket history.

George Salmond, Scotland's captain, was disappointed that his bowlers did not exploit the early inroads they had made. ``Bangladesh deserve credit for coming back,'' he said, ``but at 26 for five they should have been buried.'' In contrast, Aminul Islam, the Bangladesh captain, was elated. ``We really had to win this match,'' he said.

When Bangladesh batted in the morning, with the pitch at its bounciest, Khaled Mahsud soon top-edged a short one from Blain to slip. Then Mehrab Hossain lobbed a leading edge to mid-on.

Twelve for two was a grim start. Blain continued to get bounce, while Asim Butt dipped his left-armers into the right-hander and there seemed no escape when the pair reduced Bangladesh further to 26 for five.

However, Rahman, straight-driving and playing wristily off his legs, responded bravely, at first upstaging Minhazul in a partnership of 69 which blunted the threat of Hamilton, who obviously relished the conditions.

After Rahman had driven Brinkley to mid-on, Bangladesh suffered another setback when Khaled Mahmud chipped the off-spinner Nick Dyer low to midwicket to put them once more in peril at 96 for seven.

Minhazul, though, was unfazed. He found a useful partner in Hoque, a left-hander who played several pleasant strokes in his innings of 19, which ended when he cut Dyer into the hands of short third man.

Now came another crucial part of the innings. Instead of fading to around 145 all out, Bangladesh, inspired by Minhazul's aggression, scored 55 from their last 10 overs, runs which were to prove absolutely vital.

Source: The Electronic Telegraph
Editorial comments can be sent to The Electronic Telegraph at et@telegraph.co.uk