Bangladesh v Afghanistan, Asia Cup, Fatullah March 1, 2014

Dropped catches and the flying stump

Plays of the Day from the Asia Cup clash between Bangladesh and Afghanistan

The surprise

The third umpire was beckoned to decide on whether Abdur Razzak had reached the crease in time or not in the 40th over. Replays showed that Razzak had not placed his bat in the crease, but the Afghanistan fielders had gone back to their original position thinking that it was not out. The big screen flashed the opposite, and they all got together, surprised and overjoyed.

The blow

Among the five sixes hit during Afghanistan's innings, the biggest was by Stanikzai when he smacked Abdur Razzak at the end of the 45th over. The ball kept climbing as it crossed the Fatullah field, and landed behind the sightscreen. The most dramatic view was for some of his team-mates who were sitting outside near the boundary boards in front of the dressing room. The ball landed a few metres behind them, as they stood up overjoyed.

The cartwheel

Shapoor Zadran tore in from the media end and off his fifth ball, removed Shamsur Rahman's off-stump in dramatic fashion, sending it cartwheeling several feet. Considered the best sight for a fast bowler, it was also the perfect start for Afghanistan.

The flight

None of the Bangladesh bowlers are known to toss the ball up much, so Mohammad Nabi's eyes must have lit up seeing Mominul Haque's flighted delivery. He leant forward and went for a massive drive but it took the edge and was actually well caught by Nasir Hossain. Flight aside, the ball didn't do anything other than land on the right spot to take the edge, which is perhaps why Mominul had a big smile on his face.

The breaking point

The Fatullah crowd had been patiently waiting for a wicket as the Stanikzai-Samiullah Shenwari partnership started to flourish. The pair started to hit the big ones, but still they remained mildly cheerful. The breaking point of their patience came when Imrul Kayes, fielding in place of the injured Sohag Gazi, dropped Asghar Stanikzai twice in two overs. He first misjudged a catch at sweeper and simply letting the second chance spill through his fingers. The crowd behind him chanted bhua bhua, the Bangladeshi version of boo.

The fortune

Nasir Hossain had dropped three catches, once in every game against Sri Lanka in the recent ODI series between the two teams. The cricketing gods returned the favour when Afghanistan dropped him thrice in one game. First it was Asghar Stanikzai at short third-man and then Samiullah Shenwari and Hamza Hotak dropped him twice, off their bowling. He offered two more chances, the first of which was too tough for long-on, but finally, he fell for 41.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

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