ICC World Cup 2015 – England v Bangladesh: The adventures of colony march

Bangladesh 7/275 (Mamudullah 103 (138), Mushfiqur Rahim 89 (77))

England 260 (JC Buttler 65 (52), IR Bell 65 (82), Rubel Hossain 4/53 (9.4))

Bangladesh win by 15 runs


“It takes some of us a long time to find out what the price is of being in nature, and what the facts are about your tenure. How long it takes depends on how swiftly the social sugars dissolve. But when at last they do dissolve there’s a different taste in your mouth, bringing different news which registers with dark astonishment and fills your eyes. And this different news is that from vast existence in some way you rise up and at any moment you may go back. Any moment; the very next, maybe.”

– Saul Bellow, “The Adventures of Augie March,” p 362


I spent the 2003 World Cup in Kathmandu, Nepal. Didn’t see much cricket. Everywhere I went, after discovering my nationality, Nepalis would reverentially nod while muttering “Rickypontingrickyponting.” Over dinner, locals would quiz me over the composition of the Victorian Shield side, quoting batting averages and form lines of players on the very fringe of state selection. It was astonishing.

I can only imagine the fervour in Bangladesh.

England, olde England, win the toss in Adelaide and promptly elect to bowl first with an eye on the quick dismissal of a lowly opponent though having lost two of their previous three 50 over games to this very Bangladesh. Today marks the OK Corral of England’s World Cup campaign. A loss here and there will be no qualification for the knock-out phase. Which perhaps would merely make for a more efficient use of everyone’s time.

Bangladesh, too, are searching striving hoping for a win to help them progress to the knock-out phase. They will fight claw scrap for it.



And it starts with a boom.

0.4. JM Anderson to Imrul Kayes, caught by Jordan at third slip for 2. 1/3.

1.4. SC Broad to Tamim Iqbal, dropped by Jordan at third slip.

2.1. JM Anderson to Tamim Iqbal, caught JE Root at second slip for 2. 2/8.


And so the hard work begins for Bangladesh. Mahmudullah and Soumya Sarkar take a shovel each, roll up their sleeves and forge cliché’s under the Adelaide sun.

After 10 overs, 2/32.

And after a further 10 overs we see these two workmen knock it around to 2/93 (Soumya Sarkar 40 (50), Mahmudullah 45 (61)) and the innings has foundation. Slow but now solid.


20.2 CJ Jordan, brought back into the attack, claims Soumya Sarkar with a short one that catches the gloves. 3/94. In comes Shakib Al Hasan.

21.3 MM Ali bowling slow turners takes the edge of Shakib Al Hasan for 2. 4/99. Bangladesh in real trouble as Mushfiqur strides to the wicket.


And yet. And yet. England here bowling CJ Jordan and MM Ali, and bowling short. SCJ Broad, CR Woakes, JE Root all given a bowl. MM Ali, too, as Bangladesh 150 comes up from 32.1 overs.


Drinks are taken, the do-or-die nature of the fixture presumably re-inforced by many England hangers-on. SCJ Broad, JM Anderson, CR Woakes, CJ Jordan all now bowl, and yet the England lion sleeps on.

Bangladesh workmen raise the tempo now, with running and boundaries punctuating the afternoon air. At 39.4 overs Mushfiqur Rahim slams CR Woakes to mid-wicket for his 50.

40 overs, 4/197.

40.3 overs the 100-run stand ticks over in Adelaide.

40.5 overs Mahmudullah becomes the scorer of the highest individual total for Bangladesh in a World Cup (96).

43.3 overs. Mahmudullah reaches 100, looks to the heavens. Emotion and pace rising like a fever. And very well done to him.

45.4 overs. Mahmudullah is run out, tired, for 103 (138), ending the highest partnership for Bangladesh in World Cups.

The long handles come out, wickets fall, and in the mad scramble, Bangladesh proudly post 7/275 from their 50 overs.

A very interesting poser for England.


“I was no child now, neither in age nor in protractedness, and I was thrown for fair on the free spinning of the world.”

– Saul Bellow, “The Adventures of Augie March”


Recently, the former colonies of England have played some solid limited overs cricket. Recently England appear a disinterested squad. Rumours of fixation on statistics and meetings have emanated from the camp. Re-discovering the love of the game, perhaps sorely needed. A bold and successful run-chase here could kick-start their tournament.


Indeed, IR Bell and MM Ali get England away well. England 0/43 after 7 overs.

MM Ali is run out is run out next over, but AD Hales ticks it over with IR Bell and it’s 1/80 from 17 overs at drinks.

AD Hales throws his hand away with a soft edge in the 20th over (2/97) as JE Root strides out. IR Bell and JE Root hoping now to take England very close to the target, but are broken up by the pace of Rubel Hossain.

26.1 overs. IR Bell caught behind 63 trying to force things. England 3/121.

26.4 overs. Captain EJG Morgan, who must be wondering how he can again qualify to play for his native Ireland, is now out for a duck, caught hooking. England jittery at 4/121. JE Root the boy with the wheelbarrow.


29.4 overs. Taskin Ahmed takes the edge of JWA Taylor’s bat and England’s innings is unraveling in the middle overs, along with their World Cup campaign. 5/132.


JC Buttler, though, joins JE Root in a recovery mission. They build through five overs until…

35.4 overs. JE Root falls to in the first over of Masrafe Mortaza’s new spell; caught behind for 29. The wheelbarrow tips as CR Woakes heads to the centre.


And now, after 40 overs, England to win need 95 runs from 60 balls. 6/181.

40.1 Arafat Sunny to J Buttler: SIX

And on it goes. J Buttler and CR Woakes needing 8.5 per over, start to surprisingly collect them. After 44 overs, 52 runs are required from 36 balls.

47 runs from 30 balls.


45.5 overs. Taskin Ahmed to JC Buttler: caught behind for 65 (52). 7/238.

45.6 overs. Taskin Ahmed to CJ Jordan: run out, reviewed, upheld. 8/238.

Bangladesh right on top.


England needing 38 from 24 balls, 2 wickets in hand.

CR Woakes whacks a four.

England closing.

34 runs required from 23 balls, 2 wickets in hand.

30 runs required from 17 balls, SCJ Broad plonks a 6 over mid-wicket.

20 runs required, from 15 balls. CR Woakes is dropped, gets 2 runs.

England on top.


Two overs left.

16 runs required from 12 balls, 2 wickets in hand.

48.1 overs: Rubel Hossain to SCJ Broad: bowled

Bangladesh on top.


JM Anderson in as last man to bat.

16 to get. 11 balls.

48.2 overs: Rubel Hossain to JM Anderson: Yorker. No run.

48.3 overs: Rubel Hossain to JM Anderson: Bowled.


England all out 260.

Bangladesh win and almost secure passage to the knock-out phase.

Farewell England. This raises curly questions about associate nations and the Big Three. It raises questions of selection and preparation. It raises questions of equality of opportunity. And of the importance of morale.

Ride on, Bangladesh.

The homeland falls. On the adventures of colonies march.


“…in some way you rise up and at any moment you may go back. Any moment; the very next, maybe.”

– Saul Bellow, “The Adventures of Augie March”

About David Wilson

David Wilson is a writer, editor, flood forecaster and former school teacher. He writes under the name “E.regnans” at The Footy Almanac and has stories in several books. One of his stories was judged as a finalist in the Tasmanian Writers’ Prize 2021. He shares the care of two daughters and a dog, Pip. He finds playing the guitar a little tricky, but seems to have found a kindred instrument with the ukulele. Favourite tree: Eucalyptus regnans.


  1. David, what a fantastic clash. There’s been some top encounters in the 2015 World Cup, matches the way thrilling ODI’s were meant to be,as the pendulum swings each way, one side on top, then the other. To me the best encounter was the Irish victory over Zimbabwe, a thriller going right down to the wire.

    England V Bangladesh has an even more sanguine point; the end of the losers involvement in the 2015 World Cup. Great seeing the Bangladeshi Tigers win.


  2. David – top stuff. I followed this eagerly on-line like you. Its somehow like waiting for the telegram from England for the synthetic broadcasts of the 1930’s.
    Reminds me of one of the great sporting headlines in a London tabloid when England was beaten by Sweden in a European football cup qualifier:
    “Swedes 1; Turnips 0”

  3. ER Left the (very late) dinner table to catch the denouement of this wonderful sporting fixture. Cleansing ale as Rubel delivered a couple of absolute corkers (world class corkers). Loved the joy in all of the Bangladeshi celebrations.

  4. Great read, David. Caught the last five overs of the BBC Radio coverage and wasn’t that a hoot! Boycott & Agnew at their very best.

    “England play Afghanistan next, with no hope of qualifying, won’t that be a cheerful affair”

    “He’s gone in the head, Broad”

    “This World Cup campaign has been mistake after mistake. The whole thing’s a mess”

  5. E.regnans says

    G’day Glen, PB, JTH, J Moore,
    Terrific for Bangladesh cricket.
    Glen the implication of the result made it seem “like a final,” as we like to say from about AFL Round 16 onwards (or on any occasion when 80,000+ turn up to an AFL fixture). Extra frisson about everything.
    I first caught wind of the game at ~8:30pm, when I learnt Bangladesh’s score. It sounded a teasing kind of total. But one that England should swallow. Checking the score an hour later, it looked like the game was up for grabs. From then I took a rising interest in www updates.
    PB, I agree with your telegram call. From about the 40th over, I was doing the 21st century equivalent of waiting for the posty by the letterbox. Finding the cricinfo ball-by-ball commentary. Hitting refresh. And again. And again. Raising a wee glass of port in celebration. And again. And again.
    JTH – I really missed a trick with the absence of “denouement” from that story.
    J Moore – love Aggers.
    Message on the www today: “Bangladesh survive a scare to beat World Cup minnows England.”

  6. Keiran Croker says

    I watched on Foxtel from 1/80 onwards. Updating a mate via text as wickets fell.
    The pure joy on the Bangladesh lads faces was priceless.

  7. Does this mean that the Poms have to re-qualify as a Test playing nation?

  8. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Nice work ER,
    Only saw the highlights (about all I can watch of cricket these days). Pommy bashing was particularly vitriolic, which is bewildering when you consider we still have the Union Jack on our Flag and the Queen on our currency. Cheers

  9. Dave Brown says

    It’s enough to make one’s soul bellow with laughter

  10. Thanks ER.

    I didn’t see any of the match, but jumped on twitter just as England fell. The torrent of joy at their demise was remarkable. But there was also happiness for Bangladesh.

    I remember Cameroon going far in the 1990 World Cup of football. Hope this narrative is similar.

  11. David, I was in India during World Cup 1987 and, like your Ponting experience, we got “DavidBoon”.
    Watched the entire 2nd Inning last night.
    From the start it was so apparent the Bangles were switched on and had a plan…the field settings were terrific and, when a boundary came, it was an admonishment to the bowler for not complying that was as clear to me as for the slinger. The captain, you could tell, had control. What an inspiration! Here’s a bloke who gets all he can from his talent and demands just that from those in the team. He was fantastic.
    Enjoyed the drama.
    Assumed Bell or Root would “ton up” or, later, Buttler would flay a tiring attack.
    Wickets just kept coming at the designated time.
    My only moment of unease was the ridiculous runout of Jordan – a player not up to this standard. I’ve long disliked this sort of ruling. For mine, if a bloke grounds his bat and is continuing on that same path, he’s already adjudged as “in” until he turns and leaves the crease. It is unfair.
    Otherwise, despite the poor crowd there, it was a memorable match and a great result for the often maligned Balgladeshis and probably a timely “bottoming out” for the Poms – who’ve still got some pretty good players.
    The TV coverage, alas, was not great.

  12. E.regnans says

    G’day all.
    Seems that the World has come to play here, despite Channel 9’s efforts to make it seem like a dance card of the Australian team.
    Keiran- that joy seems pure, doesn’t it? Devoid of expectation. Like the Afghani’s recently. The joy of doing something you love, doing it well and being rewarded.
    Dips – I’m still a bit wary of the English in longer form cricket, played in England. This is an Ashes winter (I think, somehow).
    PhillipD – Family relationships are the most confusing.
    D Brown – Ahh, no comment.
    M Randall – II’m increasingly finding Twitter an interesting place to experience an ‘event’. Cricket is perfect for it. Aggers, and the Geeks of Brutus Mudcake’s article last week are up for it.
    Crio – That’s a great observation of the captaincy and of the urgency. It’s that $64 question of team sport; how to get your players ‘up for it,’ time and again.. And again. Though it’s fair that players get themselves motivated. This team sport psychology is a terrific & murky area. Re: the run out, I gather it was one of those where the grounded bat ‘bounces’ off the ground (and so loses contact with the grounded area despite being behind the line). If that’s right – I don’t see anything unfair there. It’s a pretty clear cut line decision – have your bat grounded behind the line makes a fair bit of sense.
    If a batsmen wants to take a risk, take it, but be aware of the consequences.

  13. Luke Reynolds says

    Dave, have seen footage of the Nepal cricket team being welcomed home after qualifying for the T20 World Cup. Huge passion for the game in that country.
    Like most of the non-English, thoroughly enjoyed watching Bangladesh beat the Poms. The joy of everyone on Twitter while also watching the game on TV made for a fantastic mix.

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