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Tuesday, 10 December, 2002, 13:26 GMT

Bangladesh beat the big boys

Jubilant Bangladeshi fans stream onto the pitch A look back at the shock of the 1999 tournament.

Bangladesh's victory over Pakistan was a controversial affair.

In what was effectively a dead match, in an era when dark mutterings of match-fixing reverberated around grounds, Pakistan's poor performance produced more than a few raised eyebrows.

But be it bribe or brilliance, Bangladeshis the world over celebrated like they never had before and a national holiday was declared the following day.

Although the match remains tainted by talk of corruption, no evidence to prove anything underhand has ever come to light.

Pakistan's performance was merely a precursor to the collective implosion that also crippled them in the final against Australia.

Bangladesh became the fourth non-Test playing nation to claim the scalp of a major side in World Cup cricket.

And like Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe before them, the win greatly helped their efforts to join cricket's top table.

Prior to the match, West Indian legend Gordon Greenidge was sacked as Bangladesh's coach, but his dismissal had little effect on the team.

Asked to bat, their openers progressed to 69 for no wicket before Saqlain Mushtaq struck, claiming both men, two wickets falling for one run.

It was the first of five wickets for the Pakistani spinner.

Although Waqar Younis, like Saqlain, took two quick wickets to reduce Bangladesh from 148 for three to 148 for five, all the batsmen contributed to a final figure of 223.

As Pakistan began with a 100% record and having won all four of their matches with totals in excess of 224, a routine win seemed the likely outcome.

An hour later, such a result seemed highly unlikely.

Five wickets fell in the opening 13 overs and with the top order back in the Northampton pavilion it was left to the tail to conduct a salvage operation.

It proved beyond them.

Azhar Mahmood and Wasim Akram combined for a partnership of 55, but that was as good as it got.

Although numbers six to 10 all reached double figures, they were unable to build another significant partnership.

That left jubilant Bangladeshis free to take centre stage and they needed no second invitation to rush onto the pitch when Saqlain was run out in the 45th over.

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