CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh, March 14 (Reuters) - Bangladesh made short work of their Dutch opponents in a Group B match to keep their World Cup quarter-final hopes very much alive on Monday but England will not be amused.
The six-wicket victory at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium catapulted the co-hosts to the fourth place in the group, leapfrogging England, with six points from five matches.
Bangladesh face South Africa in their final group assignment on Saturday but could be assured of a quarter-final berth even before that if England, trailing them by one point, go down to West Indies on Thursday.
Four teams from each group make it to the quarter-finals and Bangladesh fancy their chance after the comprehensive win against the Dutch.
“It was a nervous game because we had to win to stay in the contest,” Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan said.
“We’ll be watching that (England v West Indies) match very closely but it’s still within our hands and if we do well against South Africa (on Saturday) we’ll qualify.”
While that would probably require an even better performance, Bangladesh did well against the winless Dutch.
Shafiul Islam’s first spell -- the pace bowler conceded only seven runs from his first six overs, three of which were maidens -- stifled the Dutch batsmen after their skipper Peter Borren had decided to bat first.
The decision came to haunt Borren as Bangladesh soon unleashed their battery of left-arm spinners, most prominently Abdur Razzak (3-29), who tormented them with a nagging line and length as runs dried up.
The Dutch batsmen did not help their cause either with four of them running themselves out.
For them, Ryan ten Doeschate (53 not out) waged a lonely battle before running out of partners as the Dutch folded for 160 in 46.2 overs.
Bangladesh wobbled early in their chase, losing the scoreless Tamim Iqbal to the fourth ball of the innings but Imrul Kayes’ (73 not out) second successive half-century saw them home with 8.4 overs to spare.
That triggered another celebration in the port city which had declared the day a public holiday.
Army troops, police and the elite Rapid Action Battalion force were on hand to ensure the celebration remained under control and the teams are not stranded, as was the case when Bangladesh humbled England on Friday.
Shakib gave credit to where it was due -- his bowlers.
“We bowled in good areas, kept the pressure and got the wickets. Our pacers have not been among the wickets in the tournament but they have been quite economical. It helps the spinners.
“Razzak bowled very well today, he is a key player for us.”