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First-person reports from the stands
Choice of game
Thank God it's Friday! Most of Bangladesh's matches are in Bangladesh, and on Fridays, which is our weekend. Weeks were spent cajoling, coercing, begging and borrowing for tickets (my cohorts and I have just stopped short of stealing - although not by much …). So eight of us turned up to watch this match, all pumped up after Bangladesh's show against Ireland. Match? What match? Thirty-odd overs do not make an ODI. A week's effort for the tickets blown away like a puff of dust in just short of two and a half hours of mayhem from one side and mass self-destruction from the other.
Having tried to scream, shout, wave flag, jump up and down for Bangladesh in the first innings, together with only about a hundred million other citizens of this country, I promptly switched in the second innings to the team I've supported since in the glory days of Papa Lloyd and King Viv, all through their own desperate straits. I still love the West Indians and their cricket, but when Bangladesh play, all other bets are off.
World Cup prediction
Would Pakistan vs West Indies be a prediction or wishful thinking? Probably the latter. Pakistan versus Australia or South Africa would be fun, the former team being good for a few thrills one way or the other, and their progress has been remarkably smooth (for them) so far.
Umm, didn't have time to figure that one out. I guess after reading last night that Darren Sammy's recent bowling average over the last few matches was nearing 80 and his batting average around seven, his three-for qualifies, together with the bowling of Kemar Roach and Sulieman Benn. As for Bangladesh, the sooner someone realises that Mohammad Ashraful is responsible for more key non-performances than not, the better.
One thing I'd have changed
The result! Okay, a fast and ferocious innings from Tamim Iqbal right up front - that might have changed the complexion of the day for a lot of people, regardless of win or loss. Maybe Shakib Al Hasan should stop winning the toss as well.
A murderous flat-batted swat from Chris Gayle over the head of mid-on. And the arrival of my little nephew in a Bangladesh jersey and yellow sunglasses, all of two overs before the match ended.
Someone cut off the power to the meter, methinks, except when the Bangladesh team came out to field to noises of derision, and the huge cheers from the sparse crowd that remained at the fours hit by the West Indies batsmen. The largest cheers overall came when Shakib won the toss, and after the Bangladesh national anthem. Says it all, doesn't it?
Never got a chance to check it all out given the breakneck speed of the game, but today it goes to the eight traditional drummers in yellow doing the cheerleading. Everyone else hid their tiger costumes faster than a Thommo bouncer.
Banner of the day
Outside the stadium at the end of the game, I spotted a poster in Bangla that read: "How did Tigers turn in to mice? BCB answer us!" The original was rather more colourful.
ODIs v Twenty20
Test matches any day. Since that's not an option here, ODIs. Twenty20s are too short and gimmicky, and those cheerleaders are dire.
Marks out of 10
For Bangladeshis, about 3; at least we got to see Chris Gayle close-ish up. For West Indians, a resounding 10.
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