Bangladesh v India, 3rd match, Kitply Cup, Mirpur June 12, 2008

Free runs, three cheers, and a ten-ball over


Raqibul Hasan started to cramp heavily towards the end of his innings © AFP
 

Five free runs
Virender Sehwag tried to drive Mashrafe Mortaza towards the leg side but the leading edge fell short of Abdur Razzak at cover. The batsmen were contemplating a run and went through after Razzak's throw at the striker's end conceded an overthrow. The ball raced towards long leg from where Shahriar Nafees fired in another throw that beat the fielder backing up and ran to the deep-cover boundary. The Indians got five after expending energy for just one.

David v Goliath
If you're a teenager beginning a spell in your second match, few batsmen are more intimidating to bowl to than Sehwag. Faced with that challenge, and perhaps feeling nervous, Dolar Mahmud sprayed his first ball down leg side. Sehwag then tore into him, smashing the next ball for six over cover. The next three deliveries disappeared to the midwicket and fine-leg boundaries, before another full and wide one landed past the ropes at deep cover. Sehwag attempted to hook the fifth but mis-hit it safely into the gap between deep midwicket and deep square leg. He connected better the next ball but it flew straight to Tamim Iqbal at deep-backward square leg. Sehwag had taken 22 runs off the over but Dolar still gave him an aggressive send-off.

Three cheers
The first roar from the crowd in the 47th over of the Bangladesh innings was because they thought Gautam Gambhir had touched the rope while stopping a pull from Mortaza at long leg. The shouts subsided after replays showed it was clean but once the electronic board flashed "Congratulations Bangladesh, 200" they began to chant again. And when Mortaza pulled Sehwag's next ball over the deep-midwicket boundary, they began to clear their throats for the third time in the span of a minute.

Busy behind square
The Indian new-ball bowlers' dominance was emphasised by the fact that Bangladesh failed to score in front of the wicket until the 10th over. Up until Raqibul Hasan drove a fullish delivery from Irfan Pathan towards mid-off, Bangladesh's 35 runs had come via shots behind point and square leg, and extras.

Ten-ball over
The Indian bowlers had been extremely disciplined in the match against Pakistan, conceding no wides or no-balls, but their standards were not as high today. RP Singh, bowling over the wicket to the right-hand batsmen, strayed too far outside off twice in succession in the tenth over. The third wide outside off stump was a rather harsh decision but the fourth certainly wasn't. It prompted Mahendra Singh Dhoni to ask RP to change his line of attack to round the wicket. When Irfan Pathan began his spell in the 11th over, he too began with a wide outside off stump.

Cut short by cramps
Raqibul, the 20-year-old batsman, had played a mature innings and, when he moved into the 80s, the crowd began to cheer every run that took him closer to what would have been his maiden one-day hundred. However, the hot and humid conditions took its toll and Raqibul began to cramp up after every quick run that he and Mahmudullah took. In the 43rd over, he half-sprinted half-hobbled for a quick single and lay on the ground after diving to reach safety until the physio attended to him. He did not take a runner and, on 89, holed out to mid-on after playing a tired pull.

George Binoy is a staff writer at Cricinfo