Thousands of people took to the streets in cities across Bangladesh as the national team beat England by 108 runs at Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Mirpur, Dhaka on Sunday (October 30) to post one of their most momentous cricketing victories.
It was Bangladesh’s first win in the game’s longest form against a full-strength major Test-playing country. It was also only the eighth victory in 95 matches since the country secured Test status in 2000.
As Mehedi Hasan, the 19-year-old offspinner in only his second Test, dismissed Steven Finn to level the two-Test series 1-1, joyful fans waved national flags and shouted slogans to mark the historic occasion.
“Thousands came out on the streets to celebrate,” said Mahbub Hassan, police chief of Dhaka’s Mirpur neighbourhood. “Young kids to elderly people – everybody is celebrating.”
Flag-waving fans flashed victory signs as they marched through the streets. Supporters also staged processions in the port city of Chittagong, where the first Test was played.
Sheikh Hasina, the prime minister of the country and a cricket fan, congratulated the players, the support staffers and Bangladesh Cricket Board officials. “The whole nation is proud of seeing the team spirit of our players and their tremendous performance,” said a statement released by her office.
Social media was also flooded with thousands of comments, as expected.
Mehedi was declared Man of the Match after bagging 12 wickets in the game that ended two days early, and Man of the Series for a wicket tally of 19 over two Tests.
Shakib Al Hasan’s salute after sending Ben Stokes back to the pavilion on the third evening also went viral as many supporters posted Facebook photos imitating him.
The last time the country witnessed similar celebrations was in March 2015 when Bangladesh’s One-Day International team beat England in the 2015 World Cup to reach the quarterfinals of the tournament.