Bangladesh v India, Asia Cup, Mirpur March 16, 2012

For Bangladesh, there's always Mushfiqur

Apparently, the Bangladesh dressing room wasn't overly nervous when their kingpin, Shakib Al Hasan, was adjudged out with victory still some way off - they knew they still had Mushfiqur Rahim
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Apparently, the Bangladesh dressing room wasn't overly nervous when their kingpin, Shakib Al Hasan, was adjudged out with victory still some way off. When Shakib was dismissed against England in the World Cup game last year, all hope was lost until Mahmudullah and Shafiul Islam brought the team back from dead. Customarily, the dismissal of Shakib at such a crucial point would have meant most of the crowd slowly turning their backs to the green of the Shere Bangla National Stadium and heading out of Mirpur. But Mushfiqur Rahim walked to the crease, and this is one of the reasons why the loss of Shakib has gradually stopped being quite such a deterrent these days.

The Bangladesh captain, especially after his penultimate-ball six to close out a tight Twenty20 against West Indies last October, is now the third force of the team, its other matchwinner after Shakib and Tamim Iqbal.

Forty-nine balls in hand and 66 to win. That was the equation when Mushfiqur came out. The upside was that the team had six wickets in hand, but as they had shown in the previous game against Pakistan, things could go belly-up with just one moment of lazy footwork or one poorly chosen sweep shot.

Mushfiqur had his little chat with Nasir Hossain, a street-smart guy who kept tilting his head to one side as a sign of agreement to whatever the captain was saying, meaning he knew the game was within their grasp and was charting out plans with his partner accordingly. Someone had to show that he believed as much as the millions across the country. But the start he got off to had Mushfiqur worried.

"Oh no, there were a lot of problems," Mushfiqur said later when told how confident he looked. "After a few dot balls at the start, it seemed like a difficult task. We [then] needed 9.5 and at some stages we needed around 11 an over. Nasir and I wanted to take it to the last over."

The pair added just 20 in the next 19 deliveries and were left with 46 to get in the final five overs. But, crucially, Mushfiqur, even from a distance and obscured by his helmet, looked in control of the situation.

"We wanted to capitalise on the loose ball," Mushfiqur said. "I thought that in the last five overs we needed one big over, something like 15 to 20 runs. It would be enough at that stage.

"We planned that way since you can't take 10 to 15 runs from every over. That [Irfan Pathan] over released the pressure."

It was the 48th over when Nasir took a single off the first ball and let his partner have a go at the medium-pacer. Mushfiqur showed finesse with a well-timed flick over square leg for six, before brutally clubbing the next one over midwicket for the same result; the match, at the end of the over, was now well within Bangladesh's grasp.

On the eve of the game, Mushfiqur had pointed out that India's bowling was their only weakness. "What I meant was that compared to Pakistan and Sri Lanka, they are a bit weak," he clarified. "But I would give credit to our batsmen for handling them so well, which was the most important thing."

Now he had those bowlers at his mercy. Praveen Kumar was first sliced past point for a boundary and carted over long-on for another six. Nasir then went for glory and got himself out, but Mushfiqur held on till the end - he knew he had to.

With his deputy, Mahmudullah, closing out the match in the next over, Mushfiqur, the man who is often the first player to come onto the field at the Shere Bangla National Stadium (often at least an hour before Bangladesh's training sessions), was the last to leave, mobbed by his team-mates.

"We have a game in hand and we'll play like we have done so far in this tournament. If we can start well and hold on to the momentum … we will definitely play to win," he said when asked if he had plans to play in the final of the Asia Cup.

If Mushfiqur is there till the end once more, Bangladesh could honestly believe it possible.

Edited by Nikita Bastian

Mohammad Isam is senior sports reporter at the Daily Star in Dhaka

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on March 20, 2012, 6:48 GMT

    Common tigers, send India to home by winning Sri Lanka.

  • on March 20, 2012, 4:28 GMT

    test is cricket.................u should know the meaning of cricket then u should talk about it.........if it is upset then what happened in 2004 and 2007?upset can b done once not 4 thrice.

  • ZsZs on March 17, 2012, 19:45 GMT

    Since when is Tamim a match-winner? When has he carried the bat or contributed so much that we can single handedly say he won the match?

  • on March 17, 2012, 18:18 GMT

    Win or lose.. All the time with Bangladesh.. Come on Tigers, its hunting time...!!!!!!!

  • Major_Hammad on March 17, 2012, 17:37 GMT

    Congrates to Tendulkar on personal Milestone/Record but always Remember My 6 Points: 1: Tendulkar scored 100th Hundred after struggle of 1+ year. 2: He scored 100th Hundred after 33 International Innings. 3: His 100th Hundred was his 2nd lowest strike rate in ODI Hundred by him. 4: He finally did it on Asian/subcontinent pitches, after failed to do it in England, Austrailia long tours. 5: He did it against weak team ( Anyhow at End of Day Stronger team than India) Bangladesh. 6: And India Lost the Match due to his slow Batting as he played maiden over (34th over) but at opposite scene Shakib made 18 runs in 37th over.

  • sajib_ami on March 17, 2012, 17:14 GMT

    "Indian bowlers are really ordinary" All Bangladeshi batsman proved it.

  • on March 17, 2012, 16:34 GMT

    Actually we have played against 14th man bcs virat was out but not given by the Rifiel on the other hand sakib was not out but 3rd umpire was given out..it was a another day where the big team get the advantage but it is not right. Everyone should get the equal opportunity to play a fair cricket .......ICC should give concentration on that matter..

  • on March 17, 2012, 16:22 GMT

    You can write in yr books.Very recently we d bangladeshi tigers will dominate the cricket world..........Bravo Tigers!!!

  • on March 17, 2012, 15:33 GMT

    @Ashik Sali: we dont claim ourselves as world champions, but you certainly do. this win was an upper cut towards the arrogance you show towards Bangladesh.

  • on March 17, 2012, 15:30 GMT

    People thought there would be a srilanka vs india final now theres a chance of a pak vs ban final! cricket is unpredictable!

  • on March 20, 2012, 6:48 GMT

    Common tigers, send India to home by winning Sri Lanka.

  • on March 20, 2012, 4:28 GMT

    test is cricket.................u should know the meaning of cricket then u should talk about it.........if it is upset then what happened in 2004 and 2007?upset can b done once not 4 thrice.

  • ZsZs on March 17, 2012, 19:45 GMT

    Since when is Tamim a match-winner? When has he carried the bat or contributed so much that we can single handedly say he won the match?

  • on March 17, 2012, 18:18 GMT

    Win or lose.. All the time with Bangladesh.. Come on Tigers, its hunting time...!!!!!!!

  • Major_Hammad on March 17, 2012, 17:37 GMT

    Congrates to Tendulkar on personal Milestone/Record but always Remember My 6 Points: 1: Tendulkar scored 100th Hundred after struggle of 1+ year. 2: He scored 100th Hundred after 33 International Innings. 3: His 100th Hundred was his 2nd lowest strike rate in ODI Hundred by him. 4: He finally did it on Asian/subcontinent pitches, after failed to do it in England, Austrailia long tours. 5: He did it against weak team ( Anyhow at End of Day Stronger team than India) Bangladesh. 6: And India Lost the Match due to his slow Batting as he played maiden over (34th over) but at opposite scene Shakib made 18 runs in 37th over.

  • sajib_ami on March 17, 2012, 17:14 GMT

    "Indian bowlers are really ordinary" All Bangladeshi batsman proved it.

  • on March 17, 2012, 16:34 GMT

    Actually we have played against 14th man bcs virat was out but not given by the Rifiel on the other hand sakib was not out but 3rd umpire was given out..it was a another day where the big team get the advantage but it is not right. Everyone should get the equal opportunity to play a fair cricket .......ICC should give concentration on that matter..

  • on March 17, 2012, 16:22 GMT

    You can write in yr books.Very recently we d bangladeshi tigers will dominate the cricket world..........Bravo Tigers!!!

  • on March 17, 2012, 15:33 GMT

    @Ashik Sali: we dont claim ourselves as world champions, but you certainly do. this win was an upper cut towards the arrogance you show towards Bangladesh.

  • on March 17, 2012, 15:30 GMT

    People thought there would be a srilanka vs india final now theres a chance of a pak vs ban final! cricket is unpredictable!

  • on March 17, 2012, 14:47 GMT

    BD team is playing extremely well. They can enter the final. If they do, they only need to keep their nerves; and here is an excellent chance for them to win the Asia cup -- irrespective of whom they will be facing in the final. I really hope they do -- they deserve it.

  • on March 17, 2012, 12:20 GMT

    Bravo ...mushfic... hope bangladeshi cricket will go far with your hand...... once a belief in you and others ..will always make difference ......... and this is not the first time...... india should say now its not accident.... its not a upset......

  • on March 17, 2012, 12:07 GMT

    subhanallah well done brothers

  • AccidentallyOnPurpose on March 17, 2012, 12:03 GMT

    Why is all the focus on Sachin's match losing selfish 100 and how bad the Indians bowled and not on the brilliant batting and self belief of Bangladesh. India didn't lose the match, Bangladesh WON it. Kudos. (Neutral Pakistani supporter)

  • Fieldsight on March 17, 2012, 12:01 GMT

    In the History of bangladesh cricket, in losses and wins, we showed individual brilliance, Akram khan, single handedly winning the Icc trophy in 1997, in our first odi win against Kenya 1998, Md Rafiq took 3 wickets and scored 77 runs, Aminul Islam on the debut test in 2000, scoring 145 runs, and Naimur taking 6 wickets, in 1999 wc, Khaled Mahmud took 3/31 and Khaled Mashud making multple run outs to win against pakistan, 1986 Asia cup, 17 years Ashraful was and still is the youngest centurion, in Cardiff, 2005, Same Ashraful nonchalantly hitting the likes of Mcgrath out of the ground in a win against Australia, in 2007, Tamim hit India out of the world cup, but this time, Tamim, Jahurul, Nassir,Shakib, Mushfiqur, Mashrafi, Shafiul won the match against India, With Saint like achievement, Tenkulkar is still being questioned for India's loss, and with mediocore history, Misbah is reviving Pakistan's cricket.

    So keep your head down, win or loss, Please continue to play as a team.

  • dmqi on March 17, 2012, 11:45 GMT

    This match will be remembered in cricket history as a very special one for many reasons but the main point will be: Tendulkar's 100th international century costed India an embarrassing defeat to Bangladesh. With their batting power they could have scored 320 if Tendulkar was not in the crease.Well, you have to give up something to get another, nature's law. The small kid's fire power was amazing, how did Mushfiq hit those sixes?

  • BanglaBandhu on March 17, 2012, 11:39 GMT

    Rahim and the rest of the tigers are showing a maturity that has never been shown before. Forget about Sachin's "long" 114 (credit to him BTW) this is not the reason India lost. How many fans agreed with Gavaskar and Ramiz Raja who said Rahim had made a mistake putting India into Bat. How many Indian fans were confident after the first inning that India had the game in the bag just as Gavaskar had predicted 250 would be good enough against Bangladesh.

    This game was won on heart (and finally) a never say die attitude which very briefly reared it's head in the BD v PAK game. Once again Bangladesh have mada tournament very interesting and once again India are a the receiving end of a Bangladesh upset.

  • on March 17, 2012, 10:59 GMT

    Very well done Bangladeshis..

  • rakesh_1907 on March 17, 2012, 10:47 GMT

    well played bd.it was ur day n u grabbed it wid hands,especialy rahim was a surprise package.nw dis really open up da contest n indo-pak match..

  • on March 17, 2012, 10:24 GMT

    virat kohli was clean out....but not given.. sakib was not out.....but given out..... bangladesh played against actually 14 players....3 umpires surely taken something...

  • on March 17, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    Let them win more and more matches and prove themselves. They have been playing cricket for sometime and yet to improve their standards. Once in a while they upset a test playing nation and start celebrating as if they are world champions.

  • taufique_atique on March 17, 2012, 8:07 GMT

    our own captain fantastic...

  • M_Rakibul_Islam on March 17, 2012, 7:56 GMT

    Shakib, Mushfiq, Nasir - what a combination! This trio can b a great trio 4 BD & can change BD's lot.

  • Major_Hammad on March 17, 2012, 7:47 GMT

    Congratulation to Bangladesh team and players from Pakistan. Excellent, Top Class and Superb performance by Bngladesh batsmen, 10/10 to Bangladesh performance. My one of most Favourite Players Shakib Al Hassan also Played superb. Enjoy the win, I am expecting Pak vs Bng Final.

  • on March 17, 2012, 7:34 GMT

    Their new approach of calm and sensible batting is working for them. Its pleasure to see these highly capable players are now starting to play with responsibility. As long as they can do it, we know they are a big trouble for any team of the world. Everyone knows it.

  • Test-is-Cricket on March 17, 2012, 6:54 GMT

    Of all the upsets Team BD has created in the past, this has been the GREATEST upset ever.......

  • Happy_AusBang on March 17, 2012, 6:40 GMT

    Well, I always thought Bangladesh would have a chance against India. Even in the World Cup I felt Bangladesh were never really out of it. I thought if they had batted first and put 300+ on board against the benign Indian bowling they would have a better chance. Mushfiqur wasn't being cute when he said they would target the weak Indian bowling. They were definitely on to something. But I would advise Mushfiqur not to disclose their plan in the future.

    Bangladesh should have won against Pakistan too if only Razzak and Mashrafe had held their nerve. It is something that will come as they start winning more matches against the bigger teams.

    A Bangladesh-Pakistan final is not unlikely now.

  • on March 17, 2012, 6:19 GMT

    Thats only Due to Team WOrk.. Thats the beauty of Cricket Personal Records have no Significance Only team WOrk is Important just what Bangladesh Proves. WIsh you a very very good luck.. I am pakistani but still wish that Bangladesh wins Asia Cup.. And India just go home and celebrate Tendulker's Record rather than Team India's Record.

  • Baundele on March 17, 2012, 6:17 GMT

    Awesome, Mushy! So happy seeing him confident. The little man can hit big sixes. Nasir is the real team-changer for Bangladesh. He has been consistent, scoring quickly and building partnership. Want a good article about him.

  • on March 17, 2012, 6:02 GMT

    good job done captain thnk you so much

  • on March 17, 2012, 5:46 GMT

    I like it..! Nice article Isam...!

  • Bangla.tiger on March 17, 2012, 5:35 GMT

    Birat kohli was out his 1st ball against shafiul bt umpire didnt give it out. Sakib was not out but umpire given out. atualy bangladesh won the match agains 14 man 11 indian players and 3 umpires. Good job. Finally Bangladesh won. Dont say its upset.

  • Rezaul on March 17, 2012, 5:33 GMT

    Good luck Bangladesh and Shakib, Mushfiq, Tamim, Jahurul, Nasir, Mashrafi,.. Tigers roared and we can hear that staying 12000 miles away than Dhaka. Good thing is today Bangladesh team showed real maturity by overcoming two bad decisions (Kohliś Out was not given when he was on 0, Shakib was given Out when his boot was inside the line) given against them. Great work Bangladesh team. We are proud of you guys.

  • Arsalan-Alam on March 17, 2012, 5:18 GMT

    Wonderful performance Bangladesh. Congratulations to you for this deserving victory.

  • on March 17, 2012, 5:12 GMT

    it seemed like if sachin was little faster, and india scored 300+ the EXTRAORDINARY indian bowling attack could not defend it.

  • lordamit on March 17, 2012, 4:55 GMT

    Excellent work Mushfiqur! Please continue the good work :)

  • sachin_vvsfan on March 17, 2012, 4:54 GMT

    Congrats BD!! Indeed a well deserving victory

    As for INDIA we should get rid of these IPL products dinda, jadeja (and yes tiwary too. They are good for IPL only). Also disappointed with sachin who put himself a head of INDIA for that milestone. What a disgrace.It happened in last match too Batsmen were just looking for hundreds and wasted powerplays.

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  • sachin_vvsfan on March 17, 2012, 4:54 GMT

    Congrats BD!! Indeed a well deserving victory

    As for INDIA we should get rid of these IPL products dinda, jadeja (and yes tiwary too. They are good for IPL only). Also disappointed with sachin who put himself a head of INDIA for that milestone. What a disgrace.It happened in last match too Batsmen were just looking for hundreds and wasted powerplays.

  • lordamit on March 17, 2012, 4:55 GMT

    Excellent work Mushfiqur! Please continue the good work :)

  • on March 17, 2012, 5:12 GMT

    it seemed like if sachin was little faster, and india scored 300+ the EXTRAORDINARY indian bowling attack could not defend it.

  • Arsalan-Alam on March 17, 2012, 5:18 GMT

    Wonderful performance Bangladesh. Congratulations to you for this deserving victory.

  • Rezaul on March 17, 2012, 5:33 GMT

    Good luck Bangladesh and Shakib, Mushfiq, Tamim, Jahurul, Nasir, Mashrafi,.. Tigers roared and we can hear that staying 12000 miles away than Dhaka. Good thing is today Bangladesh team showed real maturity by overcoming two bad decisions (Kohliś Out was not given when he was on 0, Shakib was given Out when his boot was inside the line) given against them. Great work Bangladesh team. We are proud of you guys.

  • Bangla.tiger on March 17, 2012, 5:35 GMT

    Birat kohli was out his 1st ball against shafiul bt umpire didnt give it out. Sakib was not out but umpire given out. atualy bangladesh won the match agains 14 man 11 indian players and 3 umpires. Good job. Finally Bangladesh won. Dont say its upset.

  • on March 17, 2012, 5:46 GMT

    I like it..! Nice article Isam...!

  • on March 17, 2012, 6:02 GMT

    good job done captain thnk you so much

  • Baundele on March 17, 2012, 6:17 GMT

    Awesome, Mushy! So happy seeing him confident. The little man can hit big sixes. Nasir is the real team-changer for Bangladesh. He has been consistent, scoring quickly and building partnership. Want a good article about him.

  • on March 17, 2012, 6:19 GMT

    Thats only Due to Team WOrk.. Thats the beauty of Cricket Personal Records have no Significance Only team WOrk is Important just what Bangladesh Proves. WIsh you a very very good luck.. I am pakistani but still wish that Bangladesh wins Asia Cup.. And India just go home and celebrate Tendulker's Record rather than Team India's Record.