Bangladesh v Pakistan, Asia Cup, Mirpur March 11, 2012

Tamim makes a point

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the opening game of the Asia Cup, between Bangladesh and Pakistan in Mirpur

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.

The celebration
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.

The silence
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.

The counterattack
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.

The comeback
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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • zulfiquar on March 13, 2012, 17:54 GMT

    Wish Afghanistan was here, it would have been a good tournament. They can give any team a run for their money - and Bangladesh would have been an easy target for sure. I am a Bangladeshi myself, but I like bravery - and Bangladesh except Shakib could do with loads of it. They do not have that bravery.

  • Dummy4 on March 12, 2012, 19:58 GMT

    it would have been a disaster for Bd cricket team had tamim failed to deliver with the bat because BCB boss was just waiting for a bad performance from him.

  • Dummy4 on March 12, 2012, 19:09 GMT

    @ Sports4Youth, are you serious about Awais Zia? It was embarrassing watching that guy bat in the t20s against England. It was a swing and miss marathon. The guy just closes and eyes and swings his bat without using any brains (maybe he doesn't have any). He has more technical flaws in batting than I do, and I only play backyard cricket. Look at his domestic records. Please don't compare him with Nasir Jamshed.

  • Dummy4 on March 12, 2012, 16:29 GMT

    @Sports4Youth : Actually Younus and Gul generally tend to be consistent.....Gul especially....But Gul also has this tendency of completely losing his radar once in a while....(Dnt ask me abt Misbah :-) )However when u look at younsters especially Umar Akmal, one must admit, he has been given a lot of chances to prove himself. All he's done is prove that he's talented but hasnt really contributed....Hammad Azam needs to be given a chance i thnk... If somebody deserves to be dropped, its Misbah......

  • gujjar on March 12, 2012, 15:22 GMT

    ,.,These Pitches in Ban are batsmen paradise and Pak did not utilize their last 10 overs wh ile batting effectively and again GUL proved to be a match winner both with Bat and Ball,,, It is Quite noticeble that Gul becomes energetic When It Comes to big Tournament!

  • Cricket on March 12, 2012, 9:14 GMT

    Looks like Younis, Misbah & Gul have license to do as they like and yet they will stay in the team. Younsters will always be burdened with scoring heavily and quickly and yet get dumped.

  • Cricket on March 12, 2012, 9:12 GMT

    @ El_Toro_Loco :- Agreed. Even i expect the finals to be between India and Sri Lanka.

  • Cricket on March 12, 2012, 9:10 GMT

    Nasir Jamshed is not being appreciated here. Hafeez had admitted during the presentation that acutually by playing fast Nasir had taken the pressure off Hafeez and that allowed him to consolidate his innings. Nasir is making a comeback. earlier when he was dumped he was barely 19 yrs old. Now he has shown much more maturilty. He should be persisted with. hope he performs well against the better teams in the tournament.

  • Cricket on March 12, 2012, 9:05 GMT

    Younis Khan and Misball (tuk-tuk) dont belong to the limited overs format criket. If they dont have the grace of accepting it, then the selectors should take a call. In recent times Pakistan have triied a few youngsters but the selectors put a very difficult yardstick for them to prove their places in the side. on the other hand Younis and Misball are fixtures in the team, no matter what they do (or they don't do). Youngsters like Nasir Jamshed and Awais Zia have shown that they can bring good aggression into the team which younis and misball are incapable of.

  • Cricket on March 12, 2012, 8:46 GMT

    @ Nadeem1976 :- I agree with you. Pakistan did not win this match. They did nothing to win this match. Bangladesh lost this match. After getting into a strong postion banladesh did everything that was required to loose a match. The bangladesh teem is heavily dependant on Sakib & the pakistan team is heavily dependant on Hafeez. Actually it was a match between equals. Both the teams have rubbish fast bowlers & thoroughly useless batsmen. Now all the other matches in this tournament will be one-sided affairs, except the india sril lanka encounter.

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