Bangladesh v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Mirpur, 1st day December 17, 2011

Acrobatics from Akmal

ESPNCricinfo presents Plays of the Day from the first day in Mirpur

The shock of the day
Bangladesh opener Nazimuddin chose to shoulder arms to an Aizaz Cheema delivery that, to his horror, nipped back in sharply to strike him high on the pad. Cheema turned around towards umpire Shavir Tarapore and started to shout but realizing that the height would probably save Nazimuddin, aborted his appeal. He instead grimaced in the manner of a bowler who knows how close he had come to getting the batsman out. To his visible surprise, umpire Tarapore raised his finger even as Nazimuddin and Tamim Iqbal, the non-striker, stared in disbelief. The Pakistan slip cordon, who had also resigned themselves to a not-out verdict, smiled broadly as they rushed towards Cheema.

The acrobatic move of the day
Adnan Akmal is not far behind his more illustrious brother, Kamran, when it comes to creating a ruckus behind the stumps. There were several long-drawn screams today even when the bowler and the slip cordon were unmoved. As the day became more and more unproductive for Pakistan with the big stand between Shakib Al Hasan and Shahriar Nafees, Adnan resorted to another way to keep himself and the fielders entertained. He lay down on the ground, and in WWE fashion, sprang into the air to end up standing upright. He seemed pleased that he had managed to perform the move, with pads and gloves on.

The blow of the day
Shakib not only defied Pakistan with his second Test century, he also caused some physical damage early in his innings. Abdur Rehman came on in the 24th over with Azhar Ali standing at forward short leg. With Rehman getting some turn straight away, Shakib decided that the best way to tackle him was to sweep. He connected off the middle of the bat on his first attempt. The ball flew straight into Azhar, who in the words of the commentator Ramiz Raja, tried to "make himself small", but the ball smacked him so hard on the hand that he had to leave the field. The Mirpur crowd, who hadn't had much to cheer in the morning session, applauded with gusto.

The letdown of the day
Shakib and Nafees gave plenty of cheer to the crowd as they approached their centuries. Shakib brought the crowd to its feet when he moved from 89 to 100 in the 63rd over. In the next over, Nafees drove Saeed Ajmal to the extra cover boundary to move to 97. Given the recent troubles of their batsmen, two centuries in a day was more than the crowd would have hoped for and they started clapping as soon as Nafees was on strike again. But Umar Gul surprised him with a nasty bouncer that he could only glove to the wicketkeeper, and the crowd was shocked into silence.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

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