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Plays of the Day for the fourth day of the second Test between Bangladesh and Pakistan
December 19, 2011
The comic moment
The novel Chinaman - The legend of Pradeep Mathew talks about a fabled and unplayable spinner's delivery called the "double-bounce ball". There was a double-bounce ball in Mirpur from Elias Sunny, but it was nowhere close to the one described in the book. This one slipped out of Sunny's hand and pitched very short and landed a second time before reaching the popping crease. It was heading in the direction of slip and Misbah-ul-Haq, usually a picture of calm in the middle, charged out towards it and powered it towards cover. It went straight to the fielder and Pakistan got no runs. Misbah was left laughing that he couldn't capitalise. At least, he fared better than AB de Villiers at this ground three years ago - the South African holed out miscuing an attempted pull after a double-bounce ball from Mohammad Ashraful.
Mushfiqur Rahim had missed a possible stumping on Monday when he was keener on appealing for a caught-behind than trying to break the stumps. He nearly muffed another stumping today when Adnan Akmal missed a wide delivery from Shakib Al Hasan after charging down the track. He was yards out and it was a simple stumping for Mushfiqur, who didn't make contact with the stumps on his first attempt. Luckily for him, Akmal was so far down that there was no chance of getting back, and a grinning Mushfiqur took off the bails on his second attempt, before hitting the stumps again for good measure.
The sweep shot has long been a cornerstone of Misbah's batting. He used it often against the spinners today, particularly the paddle sweep against the left-arm spinners. As he shaped to play the stroke, Mahmudullah sprinted from slip towards short fine leg to try and intercept the ball early. The second time Mahmudullah tried the same tactic was in the 110th over, when Sunny bowled one outside off. Misbah stretched to reach the ball and paddle it, but it spun square to beat him easily and he finished up almost doing a split. Misbah laughed it off, while Mahmuddullah's gallop to the leg side proved unnecessary.
Barring a brief phase with the second new ball, Bangladesh's fast bowlers were mostly ordinary, barely causing a threat as the Pakistan batsmen comfortably dealt with them. Bangladesh have struggled to find a quality spearhead to take the place of the perpetually injured Mashrafe Mortaza, who has played only two Tests since the start of 2009. The wait for him to return to fitness finally seems to be ending - the small but enthusiastic crowd that turned up in Mirpur was treated to the sight of Mortaza bowling at full tilt for about 20 minutes during the lunch break.
Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Siddarth Ravindran
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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