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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Adnan on March 24, 2012, 3:24 GMT

    Bravo to BD , that might be new beginning of Bangladesh cricket team. Asia Cup is just a tournament. Let us see who is real Asian Champion, that analysis covers all head to head matches rather than selective period / tournaments. Pakistan vs India , the score line is 69-48 in favour of Pakistan. Pakistan vs Sri Lanka again 76-47 in Pakistan's favour. Pakistan vs Bangladesh it is 30-1 in Pakistan's favour. Any taker??

  • Nasser on March 23, 2012, 16:31 GMT

    I am a Pakistani supporter and have always wanted Bangladesh to become a strong cricket team to really compete with the test teams. Unfortunately, they were given test status far too early and as a result I have not seen them as a truly great side. They have been a half-decent one day side but the nation is mad about cricket.

    BD have come of age in this tournament - at last! They were consistently good performers in all the 4 matches - and were unlucky to lose. Hope this loss would make them stronger. Continue to develop as a good one-day side and upgrade your ability to bring it up at test level and playing abroad. You are now getting the players you need, but the approach must be aggressive, unlike Tamim. He should have not been satisfied with 4 fifties; should have gone on to try to make a century for his country in the final; another 20 runs and BD would have certainly won.

    Anyway, you guys are on your way up now MashaAllah.

  • Dummy4 on March 23, 2012, 16:12 GMT

    @chancricfan theres always a question mark over their performance overseas its not about recent past i am speaking of over all , although a team which performs in all situations is south africa, who totally deserve the number 1 spot in test for one dayers Australia are still a very formiddable side..but it agree with csowmin there should be a series... that could be a deciding factor.. rather than judging teams on one game.. and there should be a neutral venuee...most probably somewhere out of the sub continent..

  • Dummy4 on March 23, 2012, 16:03 GMT

    Congratulation to both teams... BD had a great show, first time I am impressed by their performance... I am mighty impress with Shakib, that guy is their best bowler, best batsman and best fielder; match after match...This team rides on him, he is going to inspire a young generation of BDs in coming years...I don't find such a example in past or present in Cricket... It could have being nice if Afghans could have played this tournament... I could see there are not far from reaching there... Pakistan needs to look beyond Younus and Misbah in ODIs... They are making the same mistake as India, holding on to the old guys for too long

  • Chandroo on March 23, 2012, 12:02 GMT

    @Mohammad: Two bad series don't tell the story bro. How many game. we won series in Eng, NZ, WI, drew with SA in the recent past. Accepted Pak was a goo side. But now the story is different.

  • sowmi on March 23, 2012, 11:11 GMT

    @mars2009. Yes Pakistan have a better record against India. But this is mainly due to the one sided matches in the 1990s when India were not a very good ODI side. In the 1990s Pakistan had a champion side with Wasim Waqar. But after 2000 India has won more matches against Pakistan and in the recent past India has won more games. Pakistan have also not beaten India in a World Cup match in pressure situations Hope the BCCI has some sense knocked into them and organizes a tour with Pakistan(with 5 ODIs and 3 tests) so that we can settle the score.

  • Dummy4 on March 23, 2012, 10:23 GMT

    @chancricfan you can refine your searches according to your liking but the head to head scores are calculated on over all performance..and its a fact pakistan has beaten all the asian countries far more than they have lost to them..although on basis of performance in this CUP i hoped to see bangladesh as the emerging champions but it wasn't to be... you can chant INDIA all you want...but overseas you will always be considered as an ORDINARY team.

  • Dummy4 on March 23, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    Bangladesh deserved to win. We should have dedicated it to them. From Pakistan.

  • Dummy4 on March 23, 2012, 8:17 GMT

    Pakistan showed the performance in a style even media, Indians and Bangladeshis were talking negative. But they won in a style.

  • Ridhwan on March 23, 2012, 8:08 GMT

    To Asian cricketing nations.... i want to remind you people that SOMEONE from the outside asia said that Asian cup tournament is WASTE of TIME.. saying INDIA and SRI LANKA should rest.... My question to him and to all is 'was it waste of time??????????' Isn't it true that every match of this tournament was GEm of Oneday cricket?? one of the best tournament of one day i have seen.... Add Afghanistan.....

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