FAN FOLLOWING

First-person reports from the stands

Bangladesh v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Mirpur, 1st day

October 22, 2013

Roaring tigers, pouring rains

Madiha Khan


Tamim Iqbal tackles a rising delivery, Bangladesh v New Zealand, 2nd Test, 1st day, Mirpur, October 21, 2013
If only Tamim Iqbal had managed to score five more runs © Associated Press
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Choice of game
Two of the lower-ranked teams playing against each other - I found that interesting. The smaller the difference in rank, the larger the promise of greater entertainment. Plus, Bangladesh were playing at home and I hadn't enjoyed that in a while, I just had to be there.

Team supported
If you are a Bangladesh fan, there are few places in the world where you can have as much fun as in the Shere Bangla National Stadium. There is nothing like being part of the crowd that gets behind their home team, every step of the way.

Key performer
It was a fast-paced first day. More than 65% of the runs were scored in boundaries. Newbie Marshall Ayub played some copybook drives through the covers before losing his concentration. The in-form Mominul Haque started well too. But the key performer for the day had to be Tamim Iqbal, who seemed to regain some of his lost rhythm. He is often criticized for playing too many shots in Test matches, but I was happy to see him play his natural game. He played a variety of shots, including hooks, pulls and drives that were pleasing to the eye. Five more runs though would have made me a very happy girl.

One thing I'd have changed
The rain poured down heavily during the tea break with no signs of letting up, as is often the case in Dhaka. As much as I disliked going home after only 54 overs of play, nothing beat the crushing disappointment I felt when Tamim got out at 95.

Wow moment
There were some beautiful shots on display through the day, but the top one would have to be Ayub's first boundary - a beautiful drive through the covers for four. It made me go "wow" because nothing is more exciting than seeing a glimmer of promise in a young player.

Crowd meter
The stands were sparsely filled at the start of the game. But by the end of the morning session, the southern, eastern and northern stands were packed. It was a very impressive turnout for the first day of a test match.

The day started with some fluid batting from the home team, and the lively Mirpur crowd started their party. Chants of Bangladesh and Tamim began in the eastern galleries and soon it caught on in the other stands. Every time a new batsman walked out to bad, the crowd roared. Shakib Al Hasan had only to score a boundary for the entire stadium to start roaring his name. Even when the run flow stalled for a while, the crowd was not quiet. Every now and then the Mexican wave and chants of Bangladesh went around.

Every other person in the crowd had taken it upon themselves to critique the game and pass loud comments. Most of it however was hopelessly pessimistic. Bangladeshis love expecting the worst but in their hearts hold the highest of hopes for their tigers. As Tamim batted into his nineties, most of us went ecstatic but there were a few who spelt out the worst possible outcomes.

Alas, the critics words came true when Tamim fell on 95, and the crowd's overwhelming disappointment was palpable.

Fancy dress index
Ever since the home series victory against West Indies, the tiger has become a popular mascot in the stands. The man who began the trend, Shoaib, was present as were many others who had started to follow his style. Some had painted their entire bodies in yellow and black stripes, complete with Bangladesh flag bandanas on their heads. They provide an entertaining sight, and a lot of people line up to take pictures with them.

Overall
Considering some of the beautiful strokeplay that were on display today, I would like to say that the quality of cricket was high. But the truth is that there were far too many shots played and a few too many wickets lost. Test matches being a test of temperament, I would have to say that Bangladesh had fallen just a little behind. New Zealand bowled consistently, but it would be safe to say that their successes were mainly due to the follies of the Bangladeshis.

The atmosphere however was absolutely wonderful. One could hardly ask for anything more on a weekday. The rain did spoil the party, but it was not too much of a disappointment for the average Bangladeshi, since rain in this country is never a surprise. I'll give this day a rating of 7 on 10.

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Madiha is very passionate about cricket and Bangladesh. She is 17, and currently doing her A levels in Bangladesh. Her father who happens to be a cricketer and a commentator is her inspiration. Madiha hopes to study economics in university and bring about change in her country. She also dreams of becoming a cricket journalist.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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Posted by   on (October 23, 2013, 8:11 GMT)

I follow pieces in CricInfo, but seldom comment. This is a simple, honest and to the point description. Madiha: You have the potential to become a Cricket Correspondent from, of and for Bangladesh. We don't have a good Cricket Correspondent. We need one. Keep it up :)

Posted by   on (October 23, 2013, 4:15 GMT)

Nicely described... just keep writing and make us more PASSIONATE about BD Cricket.........

Posted by   on (October 23, 2013, 1:33 GMT)

this is a wonderful article Madiha :) as a fellow aspiring cricket commentator I was excited by the vivid way you described the action :)

Posted by i_amVIVA on (October 22, 2013, 17:16 GMT)

Splendid writings, thanks...

Posted by Joamiq on (October 22, 2013, 17:02 GMT)

Well done Madiha. Perhaps you should do some commentary...

Posted by SyedAreYouDumb on (October 22, 2013, 16:40 GMT)

With such passion from the fans surely Bangladesh cricketers would have put up a better display then the abysmal performance they did today!

Posted by   on (October 22, 2013, 13:00 GMT)

Thank you so very much to the both of you. your comments are really encouraging and much appreciated!

Posted by DoraemonBangladesh on (October 22, 2013, 12:26 GMT)

We hope this will be a great test match for Bangladesh. But still not sure about the result of this match, might be a draw because of rain. I believe Bangladesh will win the ODI Series, but I think if it goes like this (raining), ODI & T20 matches will be played on D/L method. 1 thing to say about Tamim:- after reaching 90s, he should have slowed down his playing, and try taking only singles/doubles instead of taking unnecessary, useless risks. Best of luck, Bangladesh for the rest of this series. And Thank you sister, for this awesome article, & best of luck for you too in the future. May Allah bless you.

Posted by Dr_Van_Nostrand on (October 22, 2013, 12:10 GMT)

Wow, great write-up! Almost makes me want to make the trek to Bangladesh to take it in myself.

Posted by KingAjmal on (October 22, 2013, 8:38 GMT)

Very well written! I couldn't have described it any better. "Passion" is clearly the main attribute of Bangladesh Cricket and something which will take Bangladesh to all new heights. I wish you all the best and success in achieving your dreams Madiha Khan. Very talented writer!

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