Nazimuddin helps Dhaka post first win
Dhaka Warriors 174 for 5 (Nazimuddin 54) beat Delhi Giants 112 (Sharif 2-18, Rafique 2-19) by 62 runs
Dhaka Warriors beat Delhi Giants by the biggest margin of the tournament - 62 runs - to secure their first win in the ICL. Mohammed Nazimuddin set up a stiff target with a breezy half-century before Delhi crumbled for the second-lowest total of the tournament.
Delhi depended heavily on the big hitters Avishka Gunawardene and Paul Nixon to overhaul the target of 174 but neither could do the job today. Gunawardene ran himself out by straying lazily outside the crease only to find the bowler Farhad Reza fire in a direct hit. Nixon was sent lower down the order but fell cheaply, stumped after missing an attempted reverse sweep. Nixon left the team in disarray at 46 for 5 and the target was beyond the lower order.
It was a disciplined bowling performance by Dhaka. Mohammad Sharif triggered the demolition with a double-strike in the fourth over of the chase. He first induced Monish Mishra to mis-hit to mid-on, where Habibul Bashar back-pedalled to take a good catch, and then knocked out pinch-hitter Sudhindra for a first ball duck.
On a hard pitch where the Delhi batsmen found it difficult to get going their Dhaka counterparts made merry. There is an interesting story about Nazimuddin growing up as a cricketer. It was at an Under-19 World Cup pre-tournament camp and he was made to get into a 40-minute ice bath at 7.00 am in the winter. A sobbing Nazimuddin called his mother after the ordeal and asked, "You want your son alive or you want a cricket player?" And the reply was, "A son who is a cricket player." Nazimuddin didn't call home for the next four weeks but eventually realised the value of the advice. It was his journey into manhood.
His game is simple - see the ball and hit it and, if you don't see it, still go for it. As a result consistency has never been his forte but, when it comes off, it's thrilling to watch. Today was one of those joyous days. He got going with three fierce square cuts before shuffling towards the offside to pull one to the long-leg boundary. However, it was in the sixth over, Shane Bond's first, that he really erupted in style. It was the first time he was facing Bond in his career. The first ball flew over long-on and the second, a length delivery, was smashed over long-leg.
In the next over, he swung Sudhindra for three sixes - two long-leg sixes came either side of a crunching hit to the sightscreen. He fell for 54, swinging Jai P Yadav to long-on, but by then he had laid the perfect platform for Alok Kapali to do his act.
Ever since he returned to international cricket earlier this year, Kapali starts his innings slowly and correctly, playing in the V. He scored 3 off 10 balls before beginning his assault. He singled out left-arm spinner Ali Murtaza for special treatment and scored 20 runs off the 16th over, hitting three fours and a six. He holed out in the deep with the score on 148 but Bashar ensured Dhaka finished strongly.
Sriram Veera is a staff writer at Cricinfo