Tamim makes a point
The freak dismissal
There have already been a number of bizarre dismissals and close calls in one-dayers this year. Lahiru Thirimanne reprieved after being Mankaded, the David Hussey obstructing the ball/handling the ball conundrum, and the Sachin Tendulkar run-out after he crashed into the bowler Brett Lee. Add to that the Shahid Afridi dismissal today. In the 40th over, Afridi tamely pushed his first delivery back towards the bowler Shakib Al Hasan. It flew low to Shakib's right, and though he got both hands to it, he couldn't collect cleanly. With the ball now dropping to his left, Shakib lunged again, and only managed to juggle it once more, this time onto the non-striker Misbah-ul-Haq. The ball deflected off the batsman's chest, hit the grill of his helmet and looped up before Shakib finally snaffled it. No batsman will be happy with a golden duck, but to get one in this manner would be particularly galling for Afridi.
All headlines about Tamim Iqbal this week had been about his controversial axing from the squad, and his subsequent inclusion, a consequence of a tussle between the national selection chief and the board president. If anyone had any doubts over his place in the ODI side, he answered them with an unusually cautious half-century, his first since the series in Zimbabwe in August last year. He reached the milestone with a punch to long-on for a single, and celebrated with a series of fist pumps. That was followed by some vigorous pointing to the dressing room, before he raised his bat specifically at the person he was looking for.
Mohammad Hafeez is another opener coming in to the tournament needing runs. He had a dismal limited-overs series against England, which he ended with a couple of ducks in the Twenty20s. He rediscovered his touch in some style, first top scoring with the bat and then delivering with the ball. The game was evenly poised when he came on in the 29th over. He first dismissed the well-set Tamim - an inside-edge on to the stumps - and then sent back the vice-captain Mahumudullah for a golden duck. Two strikes which found the Shere Bangla's mute button.
Umar Gul was changing the game's momentum with his late blitz after Pakistan had slumped to 198 for 7. He saved his best for the 49th over, off a fading Mashrafe Mortaza. A slower ball was clubbed over midwicket for four, the follow-up was a full toss down the leg side which was duly put away for another boundary. Mortaza's radar remained misplaced as he served up a waist high full toss next; it was dispatched for six to bring up Gul's highest score in one-day internationals.
Gul had a rough time with the ball early on, with the returning opener Nazimuddin playing some stylish strokes to send him out of the attack. When he returned for his third spell, in the 43rd over, the Shere Bangla was buzzing after Shakib and Nasir Hossain had brought Bangladesh back in the game. The pressure increased even more on Gul as his first ball was dinked to the third man boundary and the next tucked for four to fine leg. 7.2-0-50-0 were his unflattering figures at that stage, but he hit back with his next delivery, bowling Nasir to stall the home side.
Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo