Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, Asia Cup, Mirpur March 20, 2012

Mushfiqur gets lucky and Tamim earns a new fan

ESPNcricinfo presents the Plays of the Day from the Asia Cup group match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, in Mirpur

The lucky stumping
Mushfiqur Rahim's freakish stumping of Lahiru Thirimanne was a reflection of Gary Player's famous words: the harder you practice, the luckier you get. There are very few in the Bangladesh team who train as hard as Mushfiqur, who is usually at training earlier than the rest. He got his slice of luck in the 32nd over, when an Abdur Razzak delivery spun all the way onto his right pad and bounced back onto the stumps, with the batsman, Thirimanne, out of the crease.

The timely misfield
When Nasir Hossain punched the first ball of the 38th over towards mid-on, the whole of Bangladesh held its breath. The fielder got a hand on it, but couldn't stop the ball from trickling along to the rope, confirming Bangladesh's progress to the final and a long night of celebrations in the country.

The bouncer
If Jahurul Islam had been lulled by the two-hour rain break, he got an early wake-up call through a sharp bouncer from Lasith Malinga. Jahurul went for the pull, but the ball was onto him too fast and smacked him on the helmet, popping up towards cover. Sri Lanka were certain the ball had been edged onto the helmet, and were hopping in frustration when the umpire disagreed.

The drop
Sri Lanka's fielding in this series has not been as sharp as it was during the tri-series in Australia. Sachithra Senanayake, one of the better fielders in the side, had a how-did-I-miss-that look on his face after dropping a dolly off Tamim Iqbal in the 18th over. Tamim's drive sent the ball arcing back towards the bowler, at a nice height and just a little to his left. Senanayake had loads of time to see it and end a threatening Tamim-Shakib Al Hasan stand, but somehow managed to clang it.

A prime shot

After two cautious half-centuries to start the tournament, Tamim was back to his customary belligerent self. There were a slew of eye-catching boundaries in his innings, perhaps the best of which was the straight drive past the non-striker to reach his half-century. Even the watching Bangladesh prime-minister Sheikh Hasina approved.

The breach
Nazmul Hossain does not do anything dramatic with the ball. His strength is the slight movement he gets in the air or off the seam, and the ability to throw in an inswinger among a group of balls moving away. In the fourth over, Mahela Jayawardene found out how good the gentle variation is when Nazmul located the gap between bat and pad to uproot the off stump. The last time Jayawardene faced Nazmul was three years ago. On that occasion, Nazmul moved the ball the other way to have Jaywardene caught behind for a golden duck in the sixth over of a famous Sri Lankan collapse.

The big dipper

While Nazmul showed the impact of subtle movement, Nuwan Kulasekara showed that of dramatic swing. He bamboozled opener Nazimuddin with a delivery that landed on a length, well outside off and swerved alarmingly back towards the stumps. Despite the ball snaking in sharply, Nazimuddin looked to chop it through the off side, paying the price by inside-edging onto off stump.

Edited by Dustin Silgardo

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo; Mohammad Isam is senior sports reporter at the Daily Star in Dhaka

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Hammad on March 21, 2012, 19:40 GMT

    Congratulation to Bangladesh on reaching in Final by kicking out India and Srilanka (WC and Last Asia Cup Finalist Teams) from Asia Cup 2012, a huge huge improvement in Bangladesh team. I'm from Pakistan but very much fan of Shakib Al Hassan & Bangladesh team. Best of Luck to Bangladesh team in future also.

  • Khizr on March 21, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    It is awesome to see Bangladesh doing so well in Asia cup. Good for Bangladesh, good for cricket. It will be great to see them play the series in Pakistan next month. Go Bangladesh.

  • Wasim on March 21, 2012, 13:16 GMT

    Assalam o alaikum bro's.,im a big fan of india...its aplicble 2 all who commented against india dnt 4gt v r wrld champns 4 four years no 1 cn take frm us ...its our bad lck v exit frm asia cup happy wit my team v betn pakistan dats enough ..india rocks i love my india

  • Vivek on March 21, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    @ To All Forum Followers: Folks - please do understand that handful of cricket fans choose to contribute in online forums. With due respect, it is not fair to assume that their opinion is similar to broader fraternity. A majority of cricket fans are passionate but admire players across nations - we all love this game. I am an Indian but admire Sangkara, Mahela, Malinga, Shakib, Gul, etc - we should enjoy when they are on the top of their game. This is skill based sport and purist enjoy whoever performs. Lets not typify all Aussies as sledgers, Indians as egoists, Sri Lankans as biased, etc. These are personal opinions and shouldnt be attributed to whole fraternity of fans. "Perceptions are easy to create but so difficult to get rid of"

  • Dummy4 on March 21, 2012, 7:25 GMT

    Bangla team should be proud of what they have achieved so far. Great show. Although i am a Pakistani but i would still feel happy even if Bangladesh beat us in the final. They have proved to be the best team of the asia cup so far.

  • Chandroo on March 21, 2012, 6:56 GMT

    @Shafaet Ashraf Look at the stats, read Runsscored-runs conceded -Wickets lost - Wickets taken Ind - 923-876-12-21 Pak- 780-759-18-24; SL-653-705-30-12; Bangla-746-762-20-23. Now which are the best two teams for final? And also you eliminated us in 2007 WC not in 2003.

  • Benazir on March 21, 2012, 6:00 GMT

    @Sunil Gulrajani only if all the other Indians were like you. Generally, there had been plenty of support for India in Bangladesh. But things have changed dramatically in a couple of years due to some political reasons. You may have heard Indian team was booed in the field. That was the reason. Thank you for your kind words.

  • Reza on March 21, 2012, 5:56 GMT

    Nice One Bengal Tigers.. The body language of SL team said it all. The Bengal Tigers had always this in them but unfortunately had a self destruct button which probably has been hidden somewhere by Stuart Law. As a Pakistani, I have always supported Bangladesh Cricket and was obviously delighted to see them reach finals. Pak Team beware of these guys. Do not take them easy. Congrats to my Bangladeshi brothers. Well done Bangladesh. Best of luck to Pakistan Team. U can do it and u have done it .

  • Dummy4 on March 21, 2012, 5:25 GMT

    it really hurts to see the comments from the indian fans. When will these arrogant fans will learns that Bangladesh is not a minnow anymore???

  • FT on March 21, 2012, 5:24 GMT

    Pak fan but I rather see BD win. It would alot to them than to Pak team.

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