History beckons Bangladesh as they aim to rise above the minnows tag and
notch up their biggest title since arriving on the international scene
when they take on an unpredictable Pakistan in the final of the Asia Cup
in Mirpur on Thursday.
With former champions India and Sri Lanka shockingly thrown out of the
competition, it is the most surprising summit line-up for the event which
is struggling for relevance in a crowded international calender.
Defending champions India paid the price for a stunning loss to Bangladesh
in the league stage while four-time winners Sri Lanka failed to register a
single triumph this time.
The debacles of the two teams, who have dominated the tournament since its
inception way back in 1984, paved the way for an unlikely finalist in
Bangladesh, a side which is known to upstage biggies but not for going the
The giant-killers thrashed India, chasing down a mammoth 290, but that was
seen merely as one of the rare stunners that the Tigers are so well known
to throw up in multi-national events.
However, the determined side proved the critics wrong by beating an
already demoralised Sri Lanka as well, a result that knocked India out of
"It's a great achievement for the country, so far the biggest. We realise
it's still not over, we have another very important game. We'll enjoy,
we'll party, but tomorrow we'll be back to business. I hope we will fire
on the 22nd," said opener Tamim Iqbal, the hero of the win over Sri Lanka
with a half century.
The triumph on Tuesday night triggered wild celebrations through the
country and the team itself was in a delirious huddle much after the
presentations were done with.