Bangladesh v Pakistan, 2nd ODI, Mirpur December 3, 2011

Nasir's temperament the tonic for Bangladesh

He adjusts to situations, loves playing under pressure and has a spontaneous, jovial nature that could cheer up Mushfiqur Rahim's gloomy dressing-room
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When Akram Khan, Bangladesh's chief selector, picked young allrounder Nasir Hossain for the Zimbabwe tour in August this year, he had said Nasir had a fine temperament. "There's no one way that he bats. He plays according to the situation, whether it is to hold the innings together or push for late runs," Akram had said.

Nasir, who just turned 20, showed both facets of his game while compiling his maiden one-day international century. He came in with Bangladesh struggling at 19 for 4 and said he enjoys batting his way out of tough situations. "I really enjoy batting when the team is under pressure," Nasir said. "When four or five wickets are down, I love batting in those situations. I really don't know why but I really enjoy it."

The match had ended as a contest when Mushfiqur Rahim, the Bangladesh captain, sliced an Umar Gul delivery straight to gully to be the fourth wicket to fall by the tenth over of the chase. The capacity crowd at the Shere Bangla National Stadium was witness to yet another top-order disintegration from the home side.

But Nasir, along with Shakib Al Hasan, at least gave them something to cheer about, lending the innings some respectability with a 106-run fifth-wicket stand. After Shakib's tame dismissal, Nasir added 60 more with vice-captain Mahmudullah for the sixth wicket. During the partnership, Nasir moved closer to a century, and it was two unlikely sources that pushed him to go for the three-figure mark.

"First Younis [Khan] bhai, and then Umar Akmal told me to go for the hundred when I was around 75. That's when I decided to go for the century because till then I was trying to bat out the 50 overs," Nasir said.

Nasir was in a lively mood while describing the moment he got to the century at the post-match press conference. "I thought I was on 98 when I had actually reached the century. [Mahmudullah] Riyad bhai told me that I had reached the century. So I asked him, 'How should I raise the bat?' He told me to just raise it."

He realised his century did not mean much in the context of the match, which Bangladesh lost by 76 runs thereby going down 0-2 in the three-match series, but said he hoped his performance could motivate his team-mates. "I am the junior-most member of the team. So if the senior guys see that I am doing well, they will think 'if he can do it, so can I'. It is a matter of confidence. I started off slowly. You'll see that I got the first 30-odd runs from 80 balls but then I accelerated.

The naturalness of Nasir's answers at the press conference was a perfect reflection of his character, as anyone who has spent time with him in an adda (hangout) would agree. He is best described as spontaneous, just like his wicket celebrations. When asked why he celebrated in a manner similar to some professional wrestlers from the WWE, he said that he would stop it for the "greater good of the country". Even his send-off to Imran Farhat during the first ODI was a spur-of-the-moment reaction. It is his spontaneity, perhaps, that allows Nasir to adapt to situations the way Akram had said he could.

His half-century on ODI debut came in similar circumstances. Bangladesh were in deep trouble at 58 for 6 against Zimbabwe in Harare when he calmly marshalled the tail while also putting away the bad balls. His run-a-ball 50 against West Indies in Mirpur last month also came after Bangladesh got off to a poor start; there, as well, he started slowly before accelerating in the slog overs.

Nasir's upbringing tells you a lot about his character. He was raised in Rangpur, in the northern reaches of Bangladesh, left home in his early teens and came to play in Dhaka for BKSP, helping the sports institute get into Dhaka's Premier League. He quickly became a dependable force, prompting giants Abahani Club to sign him very early. His offspin with the new ball caught everyone's eye, and he showed off his temperament when he famously restricted Sanath Jayasuriya, the former Sri Lanka star batsman, from blazing away in a league game.

That temperament helped Nasir get his maiden international century at a time when all the noise around Bangladesh cricket has been negative. It could perhaps be his happy-go-lucky demeanour that sparks a turnaround in Mushfiqur Rahim's gloomy dressing-room.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Bengali-Tiger007 on December 5, 2011, 19:37 GMT

    At first I honestly use to think that I'm jinxing BD, coz everytime I make the effort to watch their games I'm always use to seeing them get thrashed by everyone even Ireland & Zim. But this time I haven't watched a single BD game since the World Cup and still their getting minnow bashed by everyone. To be honest I'v come to a point where I stopped caring and quite happy not to even bother. Don't mind checking the score on my favorite site Cric info. All these negative comments made by some of the Indians are actually justified. BD team/selectors/BCB, the whole lot are useless and pathetic. Nasir is good, his patience is completely not of BD's mentality and I think he will go a long way if the board & media doesnt over-hype and over pump him. As a die hard loyal BD fan, my request to ICC will be to remove BD from their current status & only allow them to play Kenya, Canada & Bermuda. We're all sick of this team & have had enough. Thank you!!!!

  • on December 5, 2011, 13:17 GMT

    WELL DONE.CONGRATULATION....

  • Praxis on December 5, 2011, 8:59 GMT

    Nice! BD lost the game by such a big margin, in their own backyard, here fans are getting proud of this innings of Nasir. We aren't bothered that the batting was pathetic, our bowlers failed to keep the pressure on, the team is consistently performing below standard.

  • Quddus-Mamu on December 5, 2011, 2:33 GMT

    I think, it's time to get rid off Tamim, Imrul and Nafees. Team needs to find some good young player like Nasir Hossain. Bangladesh needs to play with at least 5 specialist batsman. Selectors, please find some batsman, not alrounders.

  • on December 4, 2011, 23:17 GMT

    well done nasir.please brink back aftab ahmed in the place of shahriar and in place of imrul kayes bd team needs nazimuddin(who has around 40 ave. in domestic.and also has a decent record at international stage)

  • shafiqo on December 4, 2011, 16:19 GMT

    Bravo & congrats to Nasir!!! A very well played & gutsy innings from a young star & that too under an extremely negative situation. Greatly appreciate the temperament.

    Now, BD management & senior players should be very careful while helping to nurture this talented player. BD already has several examples of over pampered talents by the media & management & later got arrogant, lazy & loss of talent. BD team needs to carefully reorganize the batting orders which will produce much better show. Need to groom up a brand new opener from the age group. May play Nasir at #3. Bring Imrul down the order at #5 as he is patient & can bat long hours. He is just not being able to face the fast new ball at the moment but have talent & experience. BD management has not been able to establish a solid process for the young stars to come & mature in international cricket. Even though it has abundance of natural talents around the country. ICC can actively help BD in nurturing upcoming young talents.

  • avmd on December 4, 2011, 16:10 GMT

    I was watching the game and was thinking what this guy Nasir was doing. He, at no point, tried to win the game, kept playing selfish slow game, didn't care about mounting asking run rate, played few shots when he crossed 50 and team had no chance of getting even close to the target but he cemented his place for next game. It was a useless and selfish century, no use for the team. He lost the game, should not be given man of the match prize. Hafeez was the match winner with awesome figure of 2-15 in 10 over, deserved MOM but denied.

  • on December 4, 2011, 13:57 GMT

    Good work by this young fellow... !

  • John-Price on December 4, 2011, 13:44 GMT

    This is the first time I have ever heard of the Man of the Match award going to someone who didn't even try to win the game for his side.

  • Inaz on December 4, 2011, 12:59 GMT

    well played nasir hossain. If BD selectors make the right call and bring in the other two youngsters (asif ahmad and anamul haque) to the squad. these two are the top two run makers in this season,instead of under performing players who had so many opportunities, BD will be winning more matches against the so called top cricketing nations. (Srilankan bangla fan)

  • Bengali-Tiger007 on December 5, 2011, 19:37 GMT

    At first I honestly use to think that I'm jinxing BD, coz everytime I make the effort to watch their games I'm always use to seeing them get thrashed by everyone even Ireland & Zim. But this time I haven't watched a single BD game since the World Cup and still their getting minnow bashed by everyone. To be honest I'v come to a point where I stopped caring and quite happy not to even bother. Don't mind checking the score on my favorite site Cric info. All these negative comments made by some of the Indians are actually justified. BD team/selectors/BCB, the whole lot are useless and pathetic. Nasir is good, his patience is completely not of BD's mentality and I think he will go a long way if the board & media doesnt over-hype and over pump him. As a die hard loyal BD fan, my request to ICC will be to remove BD from their current status & only allow them to play Kenya, Canada & Bermuda. We're all sick of this team & have had enough. Thank you!!!!

  • on December 5, 2011, 13:17 GMT

    WELL DONE.CONGRATULATION....

  • Praxis on December 5, 2011, 8:59 GMT

    Nice! BD lost the game by such a big margin, in their own backyard, here fans are getting proud of this innings of Nasir. We aren't bothered that the batting was pathetic, our bowlers failed to keep the pressure on, the team is consistently performing below standard.

  • Quddus-Mamu on December 5, 2011, 2:33 GMT

    I think, it's time to get rid off Tamim, Imrul and Nafees. Team needs to find some good young player like Nasir Hossain. Bangladesh needs to play with at least 5 specialist batsman. Selectors, please find some batsman, not alrounders.

  • on December 4, 2011, 23:17 GMT

    well done nasir.please brink back aftab ahmed in the place of shahriar and in place of imrul kayes bd team needs nazimuddin(who has around 40 ave. in domestic.and also has a decent record at international stage)

  • shafiqo on December 4, 2011, 16:19 GMT

    Bravo & congrats to Nasir!!! A very well played & gutsy innings from a young star & that too under an extremely negative situation. Greatly appreciate the temperament.

    Now, BD management & senior players should be very careful while helping to nurture this talented player. BD already has several examples of over pampered talents by the media & management & later got arrogant, lazy & loss of talent. BD team needs to carefully reorganize the batting orders which will produce much better show. Need to groom up a brand new opener from the age group. May play Nasir at #3. Bring Imrul down the order at #5 as he is patient & can bat long hours. He is just not being able to face the fast new ball at the moment but have talent & experience. BD management has not been able to establish a solid process for the young stars to come & mature in international cricket. Even though it has abundance of natural talents around the country. ICC can actively help BD in nurturing upcoming young talents.

  • avmd on December 4, 2011, 16:10 GMT

    I was watching the game and was thinking what this guy Nasir was doing. He, at no point, tried to win the game, kept playing selfish slow game, didn't care about mounting asking run rate, played few shots when he crossed 50 and team had no chance of getting even close to the target but he cemented his place for next game. It was a useless and selfish century, no use for the team. He lost the game, should not be given man of the match prize. Hafeez was the match winner with awesome figure of 2-15 in 10 over, deserved MOM but denied.

  • on December 4, 2011, 13:57 GMT

    Good work by this young fellow... !

  • John-Price on December 4, 2011, 13:44 GMT

    This is the first time I have ever heard of the Man of the Match award going to someone who didn't even try to win the game for his side.

  • Inaz on December 4, 2011, 12:59 GMT

    well played nasir hossain. If BD selectors make the right call and bring in the other two youngsters (asif ahmad and anamul haque) to the squad. these two are the top two run makers in this season,instead of under performing players who had so many opportunities, BD will be winning more matches against the so called top cricketing nations. (Srilankan bangla fan)

  • BuddyLee on December 4, 2011, 12:46 GMT

    It's odd but kind of wonderful that Umar Akmal and Younis Khan were actually encouraging the youngster from the opposing side, although I do hope they don't feel the need to do that with Cummins or Samit Patel. Nasir, we all hope, can lift the Tigers esp. in Tests.

  • likeintcricket on December 4, 2011, 12:10 GMT

    Afridi and co didn't bowl at full intensity as the game was already over by then. But a century is a century and he played well for it and he played against a very good attack. Compare to this farhat and Shoib could not even handled the Bangladeshi bowlers. If Misbah don't show honesty in the selection for future matches than this honeymoon period will end soon for him.

  • SamAsh07 on December 4, 2011, 10:51 GMT

    Lets be honest, the only player that will be a threat to Pakistan in the 3rd ODI is Nasir Hossain. Tamim Iqbal is an over-hyped Imran Nazir IMO. If he clicks, good. If not, gone below 10. Others are....ok I guess, this only leads me to the question:- If a team like Bangladesh can have Test Status and series against top oppositions, then why not Ireland too?? Surely Ireland is better than Bangladesh.

  • SamAsh07 on December 4, 2011, 10:50 GMT

    Lets be honest, the only player that will be a threat to Pakistan in the 3rd ODI is Nasir Hossain. Tamim Iqbal is an over-hyped Imran Nazir IMO. If he clicks, good. If not, gone below 10. Others are....ok I guess, this only leads me to the question:- If a team like Bangladesh can have Test Status and series against top oppositions, then why not Ireland too?? Surely Ireland is better than Bangladesh.

  • Fawwad_Siddiqui on December 4, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    Im from Pakistan and I appreciate what Nasir has played...Bangladesh need 1 or two more batsman like that who are ready to take responsibility....i wonder what has happened to Nafis and Kyes....ive seen them batting earlier and I liked them..specially Nafiz...

    Nasir should be promoted up the order if he is being sensed to have ability to stabilize the innings....and growup everybody....centuries are not only made to win matches....Nasir's ton would give rest of his teammates confidence...u should appreciate what the young lad has done in pressure situation... nice sportsman spirit by yonis and umar akmal

  • khurramsch on December 4, 2011, 9:23 GMT

    Its good he got 1st 100. well played in a sense that he face all pak bowlers. its good to see younas & umars behaviour to push him. BUt i would only say that bd aproach was good if they & nasir do something special & win in next matches against same bowlers then we can say todays practice to bat 50 overs help them otherwise its nothing just a meaningless batting performance.

  • tanstell87 on December 4, 2011, 9:04 GMT

    it is beyond me as why Bangladesh cant win...get rid of Kayes....play Shakib at 3...bring back Ashraful as opener....give Ashraful 2 straight series...bring back Mortaza & Shahadat....bring back Kapali...make Mortaza captain...play Shuvo...drop Razak...Mahmudulah should bat at 5 or 6...Bangladesh should play to win & only then they can win...they play defensive cricket which will take them nowhere...good luck from an Indian fan !!!

  • on December 4, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    Well Done Nasir but I cant help gettingrid of the feeling that we let him score the century for crowd pleasure. The match was already lost so there was no risk/ In addition, do not prise him too much, remember Ahraful, hewas praised sky high and at the end ended up being dropped. BD has to go a long long way to match up to bigger teams. It seems like a father playing and allowing the toddler to enjoy and be happy.

  • ZaidNoorsumar on December 4, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    It's easy to boost your strike rate when the opposition is bored to death. Remember when Ireland were chasing 300+ against England at the World Cup? They were 4 or 5 down for 100. Now imagine if played to win and two of their players scored 80+ at strike rate of about 80 but fell 50 runs short. Would that be good cricket deserving of praise?

    Of course not! Kevin and co. played to win and risked getting out but they played with the right spirit, i.e. playing to win. Naser's effort was fine in the sense that BD fans got something out of the match but it was an absolute bore fest for everyone else since the result was never in doubt. What if Naser makes a ton every game from now but doesn't try to win them the game? Would he be the next Bradman?

  • ZaidNoorsumar on December 4, 2011, 8:24 GMT

    It's nice that he got a century but why is he getting so much praise when he accepted defeat? It's ridiculous that he won man of the match. Why are we praising Bangladesh for quitting? When Naser came in, they had to make about 6 an over. It was a tough task but certainly not impossible.

  • on December 4, 2011, 7:11 GMT

    Agreed with Bang_la. u know why there is so much crowd in the stadium despite poor performance of BD? COZ THEY KNOW BD PLAYERS ARE PLAYING FOR THEIR COUNTRY, NOT FOR MONEY! CROWD DON'T HAVE ANY DOUBT ABT THE PLAYERS' HONESTY.

  • Ravishankara on December 4, 2011, 7:03 GMT

    Hope he continues playing like this for many more years. Most important he needs to win matches for B'desh.

  • on December 4, 2011, 6:48 GMT

    it was a really good knock .... though he was dropped on 9 but luck always favors the good players ... nice sportsman ship from akmal and younis to encourage the youngster .... shakaib should bat up the order and Nasir should be sent at no 3

  • on December 4, 2011, 6:17 GMT

    well done nasir - bangladesh need a change in batting order - the captain is out of his wits at 4. after the first three should be shakib nasitr and then the captain - get your two best players at 4 and 5 or 3 and 4 so that they can take time to play and get in and then play hard

  • Joffa12 on December 4, 2011, 5:50 GMT

    good spirit of the game from younis and akmal, encouraging nasir to go for it, really good to see that sportsmanship, but i think bangladesh are going to have a number of more sensible and consistent batsmen come through soon, looking good for their future

  • SomeoneStoleMyLungi on December 4, 2011, 5:40 GMT

    Good work Nasir! Let the rest of the world know wat ur made of!

  • Rezwan1492 on December 4, 2011, 5:37 GMT

    terrific game for Nasir Hossain... Wish you all the luck... As for the rest, work on your temper...

  • on December 4, 2011, 5:08 GMT

    I appreciate this guy's efforts but i think Umer akmal deserved man of the match award and not nasir because it wasnt a match winning century ,man of the match is meant to be a person who changes the course of the match or helps his team win the match but nasir never really threatened pakistan at any stage . also i was shocked to see shakib's style of playing he had a give up attitude if he would have played a little more aggressively bangladesh would have reached more closer to the target .

  • on December 4, 2011, 2:51 GMT

    Excellent show of maturity by this young man Nasir Hossain, good skills and good abilities. Now, WTH will the otehr BD batsmen learn something from him??? If this goes on, then I believe the entire BD batting order needs to be scrapped, however outrageous that sounds.

  • on December 4, 2011, 2:43 GMT

    Congrats Nasir...u showed great character to all members of BD cricket team..but remember this is the only beginning of ur career..dont be a self-declared champion like Tamim and thus ruin ur self....hope u carry out in this fashion.......

  • Bang_La on December 4, 2011, 1:07 GMT

    @ Zia Rehman, lets just ignore no-brainers like that duo and others. They think as if winning is everything, a 20 year old's success or a full capacity stadium's entertainment and a nation of 160 million cheers matter nothing.

  • iBilal on December 3, 2011, 23:46 GMT

    really great job Nasir... keep shining

  • on December 3, 2011, 23:07 GMT

    i disagree weebee and jawad shaikh, his century was done at a good strike rate and was a big + for BD from this game , he demonstrated that BD can and should fight back! no one , not even Pakistani's want to play such one sided match! it was great effort from him to lift BD. How would his 30 runs be better than 100 ? its not like he was slowing down both ends.how many others ended up with a better Strike rate?

  • on December 3, 2011, 22:26 GMT

    miserable century really (without any aim) and got out very after 100 what does it mean............till how many times BD will be lucky to cross their total score >100 and (and respectable loss) should be given away their status for the sake of cricket.Icc have to take a decision.Afganistan is far better than............

  • Zahidsaltin on December 3, 2011, 22:21 GMT

    @weebee@jawad It wasn't Nasirs fault that they lost the match. It was already lost before he came and if there was any hope, then that was done away with by Sakibs slow batting and then departure. One must admire a young of his age for giving some hope to cricket crazy nation of Bangladesh. He did a wonderful job by doing something which no other player from both sides could do. And you know what? that 6 and and a 4 on afridis bowling were a class. I wish Nasir to become a consistant and relyable star batsman for BD as they need some real cricket heroes. Congrates to Nasir from Pakistan..

  • ahmadz on December 3, 2011, 21:23 GMT

    i am amazed to know that younis and umar akmal suggested him to go for century. good stuff!

  • on December 3, 2011, 21:08 GMT

    Hats Off 2 this kid.. only 20yrs and 3 days.. he is handsome and stylish too.. Superb inshallah the tigers will be one of the most toughest team in Cricket on the upcoming days...

  • on December 3, 2011, 20:47 GMT

    People really talking about this century ?! i would happily made 30 useful runs for the team rather than this useless 100...

  • on December 3, 2011, 20:38 GMT

    Good job boy!! Best of luck for the future!

  • sarmin80 on December 3, 2011, 20:15 GMT

    we wish that you will be a better performer than Imrul and Nafis.

  • on December 3, 2011, 19:45 GMT

    Congratulations Nasir Hossain on your first ODI 100!!! Thanks for keeping the fire burning in this time of disappointment...proud of you, Tiger!

  • on December 3, 2011, 19:36 GMT

    congrats Nasir..... best of luck for next match BD..

  • nickydude on December 3, 2011, 19:31 GMT

    This shud effectively end Ashraful's career, seeing the young bloke's abilities & temperament.

  • WeeBee on December 3, 2011, 19:12 GMT

    Well! Was Nasir there to make his century , not for winning? useless Century ... Sorry to say You know anyone can make such century if you dont give meaning to winning!

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  • WeeBee on December 3, 2011, 19:12 GMT

    Well! Was Nasir there to make his century , not for winning? useless Century ... Sorry to say You know anyone can make such century if you dont give meaning to winning!

  • nickydude on December 3, 2011, 19:31 GMT

    This shud effectively end Ashraful's career, seeing the young bloke's abilities & temperament.

  • on December 3, 2011, 19:36 GMT

    congrats Nasir..... best of luck for next match BD..

  • on December 3, 2011, 19:45 GMT

    Congratulations Nasir Hossain on your first ODI 100!!! Thanks for keeping the fire burning in this time of disappointment...proud of you, Tiger!

  • sarmin80 on December 3, 2011, 20:15 GMT

    we wish that you will be a better performer than Imrul and Nafis.

  • on December 3, 2011, 20:38 GMT

    Good job boy!! Best of luck for the future!

  • on December 3, 2011, 20:47 GMT

    People really talking about this century ?! i would happily made 30 useful runs for the team rather than this useless 100...

  • on December 3, 2011, 21:08 GMT

    Hats Off 2 this kid.. only 20yrs and 3 days.. he is handsome and stylish too.. Superb inshallah the tigers will be one of the most toughest team in Cricket on the upcoming days...

  • ahmadz on December 3, 2011, 21:23 GMT

    i am amazed to know that younis and umar akmal suggested him to go for century. good stuff!

  • Zahidsaltin on December 3, 2011, 22:21 GMT

    @weebee@jawad It wasn't Nasirs fault that they lost the match. It was already lost before he came and if there was any hope, then that was done away with by Sakibs slow batting and then departure. One must admire a young of his age for giving some hope to cricket crazy nation of Bangladesh. He did a wonderful job by doing something which no other player from both sides could do. And you know what? that 6 and and a 4 on afridis bowling were a class. I wish Nasir to become a consistant and relyable star batsman for BD as they need some real cricket heroes. Congrates to Nasir from Pakistan..