Fan Following

First-person reports from the stands

Bangladesh v Pakistan, only Twenty20, Mirpur

An all-green non-contest

Bangladesh were no match for a Pakistan side on a hot streak

Fahmim Ferdous

Comments: 6 | Text size: A | A
Mohammad Hafeez took 2 for 11, Bangladesh v Pakistan, only Twenty20, Mirpur, November 29, 2011
"Thought they'd have got the hang of this spin thing by now" © AFP
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Choice of game
I chose this game because it was against an alien Pakistan side - not because the players wear green, but because they have had an incredible run of late - and the Twenty20 was Bangladesh's best chance to get ahead in what appears to be a steep, steep series. Also, Tuesday is my day off at work.

Team supported
Bangladesh, with Pakistan being my second favourite.

Face-off you relished
Hafeez versus Shakib, the two ace men in respective sides. It wasn't much of a contest though, and had relish-appeal only for Bangladesh fans. Shakib tied Hafeez down for five dot-balls and then forced a false shot to get a wicket-maiden .

Key performer
Mohammad Hafeez top-scored for his side, finished with 2 for 11 and effected a run-out.

Meanwhile, Nasir Hossain, on the eve of his 20th birthday, fell four short of scoring the aggregate of the rest of his team. He displayed technique, batting with good temperament and not getting unnerved by the steady fall of wickets at the other end. A valiant effort, albeit in a sorry cause.

One thing I'd have changed
I'd like to know what was said at the Bangladesh team huddle before the match. To be more particular, to find out what prompted the genius decision of packing the side with six allrounders and one specialist batsman. It made sense at a level only a few can comprehend.

Wow moment
Shoaib Malik's dismissal was special because it was off a full-toss, which, in other circumstances would have been delivered right into my hands behind the long-on boundary, and because Abdur Razzak dived forward to take the return catch near his boot-laces. Spectacular!

Close encounter
Umar Gul dropped a sitter gift-wrapped his way by Nasir Hossain in the 12th over, right in front of where I was sat. It produced the loudest cheer from our part of the stands.

Shot of the day
Shahid Afridi got off the mark by hitting Razzak way beyond long-off for a six.

Disappointment of the day
Farhad Reza could not have been more invisible in this match if he'd been wearing that Harry Potter cloak.

Crowd meter
Mirpur is usually pulsating but there was very little to cheer in this match. The stands were packed, but there was a a lot of pre-emptive evacuation after the 15th over of the Bangladesh innings.

With food, beverages, radio headphones and horns on the not-allowed list, a friend's DSLR camera was the only gadget at hand, and it provided some cool multiple-burst-shots that I'm planning to turn into GIF images later on.

Banner of the day
I spotted a poster that said: "We'll Play, We'll Win, That's The Dream". However, I'm not sure if it was meant to be ironical.

A rude awakening for Bangladesh, especially for the batting unit. Also, they received a bitter taste of their own medicine - Pakistan's spinners took 5 for 52 in 14 overs, which is inexplicable considering the volume of spin bowling Bangladesh's batsmen face at nets.

Marks out of 10
8 for Pakistan (two points deducted for their batsmen) and 4.5 for Bangladesh (all going to the bowlers), so overall maybe a 7 for the game. There wasn't a lot of big hitting or inspiring turnarounds. It was not a match many will remember for long.

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Fahmim Ferdous has been in a steady, committed relationship with cricket for the last 14 years, and has recently decided to take it one step further, by becoming a sports broadcaster and writer. His electrical and electronics engineering degree might get in the way, he fears, but he also believes that love conquers engineering. He's a huge fan of Mohammad Ashraful, and often argues obstinately on online cricket forums for him.

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Comments: 6 
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Comments have now been closed for this article

Posted by Fahmim on (November 30, 2011, 17:19 GMT)

@Naveed Hashmi: Yes. I once trained at the same nets as he did, under the same coach. He's a brilliant batsman in a way very few can recognize.

@Stark62: You're very right. Still keeping my fingers crossed for the rest of the series. One inspiring performance can do wonders for the team, I hope that comes soon.

@KarachiKid: Thanks, kid. Will do (provided that Cricinfo allows me to)

Posted by Dummy4 on (November 30, 2011, 15:43 GMT)

nice post. i do think all rounders are the way to go in t20s, but there's no replacement for a class player in any format

Posted by Dummy4 on (November 30, 2011, 15:19 GMT)

another nice on from Fahmim!

Posted by Owais on (November 30, 2011, 11:36 GMT)

Good one dude. Keep these pieces coming in.

Posted by Stark on (November 30, 2011, 10:04 GMT)

Love that banner!

But I'm sure Bang will eventually get there but I don't see anything happening this series because Pak can play spin unlike NZ, WI and Eng.

Posted by Dummy4 on (November 30, 2011, 9:18 GMT)

nice writeup.... but man! are you still a fan of Ashraful?

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