Bangladesh v Pakistan, Asia Cup final, Mirpur March 22, 2012

Nasir breaks the trend, and the four-finger salute

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

The four-finger celebration
Tamim Iqbal had come in to the Asia Cup squad under a cloud of controversy, having initially been left out. On reaching 50 in the first game, he had sent a message to the dressing room, with some agitated finger-pointing and shouting. In the final, when he completed his fourth half-century in four games, he had a more joyous celebration: looking towards the pavilion and counting out the number of times he has reached the milestone this series.

The periscope
Tamim had showed his talent with a series of classy boundaries early in the innings, but his four off Aizaz Cheema in the 14th over could not be added to that list. Spotting a bouncer, he decided to duck but left his bat up. The ball deflected off the back of the bat and trickled down to the fine-leg boundary to bring up the 50-run opening stand.

The injury
Nazmul Hossain was playing his 38th ODI in his eighth year of international cricket, and the scarcity of appearances has not been just because of lack of opportunities. He has had terrible luck with injuries. As he ran in to finish his eighth over, Nazmul went down tumbling in pain after his delivery stride, falling on his stomach. Umar Akmal hammered the intended slower delivery for a single but worse damage had been done to Nazmul. Replays suggested an ankle twist which was possibly caused by a shorter landing step.

The trend-breaker
The Bangladesh fielders are not exactly tigers in the field, despite the nickname. Their failure to hit the stumps when required is often a point of ridicule. Nasir Hossain bucked the trend early in the game this time, ending Misbah-ul-Haq's stay with a direct hit running in from point. The mix-up between Misbah and Mohammad Hafeez contributed to the dismissal but the sight of a Bangladesh fielder hitting the stumps was the highlight.

The shot
There were several stand-out strokes in the Bangladesh innings, but few were as audacious as Mashrafe Mortaza's to get a boundary to fine leg. With the match already seemingly lost, in the 47th over, Mortaza shuffled across the stumps to an Umar Gul short ball outside off and cheekily slapped the ball past short fine leg for four.

The message
In Umar Gul's first over, Nazimuddin could not locate the ball on four out of five occasions, swinging loosely outside off and missing. He was beaten every time Gul gave him a hint of width, which was obviously a veiled attempt to lure him into a caught-behind dismissal. After the fourth miss, someone from the Bangladesh dug-out told the 12th man, Anamul Haque, to get ready. Perhaps he delivered a message of caution to Nazimuddin because the next ball he faced after the visit was a solid defensive prod to keep out the fifth ball of the third over, bowled by Mohammad Hafeez. Nazimuddin ended up scoring 16 off 52 balls.

The drop
Jahurul Islam was stationed at a shortish point position when Hafeez sliced one towards him in the sixth over. Jahurul dived to his left but couldn't get his hands completely around the ball. It was a second lucky reprieve for Hafeez, who had survived a close leg-before shout in the fourth over. Hafeez went on to make a scratchy 40 off 87 balls before falling to a good catch by Nazmul Hossain at mid-on.

The drop II
The fact that Nazimuddin did not come to attention till so late in the Pakistan innings meant only one thing: he had fielded safely. But off the third ball of the 45th over, Sarfraz Ahmed smashed one towards him at midwicket, and he timed his jump perfectly but couldn't hold onto the ball.

Edited by Dustin Silgardo

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

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