February 18, 2014
Choice of game
I haven't had a shortage of games to witness at this ground, but they only leave me craving for more. Bangladesh has had a splendid record in home ODIs and I was convinced they wouldn't disappoint me. Alas.
Who were you rooting for?
As always, I was there to cheer my team on, ready to back them the entire way regardless of how they performed. Unfortunately Bangladesh left me disappointed after a very long time.
Thisara Perera without a doubt. He walked into a desperate situation and single-handedly plucked Sri Lanka out of the doldrums. He scored 80 off 57 balls, boldly hitting boundaries when eight wickets had already fallen. As they say, luck favours the brave, though Sri Lanka had nothing to lose at that point.
One thing you'd have changed
To choose a single thing that I would have liked to change would be very difficult to do for yesterday's match. With four catches being dropped - two by our finest fielders Shakib Al Hasan and Nasir Hossain - unnecessary run-outs and shots played in the air, the Bangladesh fans were left gob-smacked repeatedly after their team got off to a terrific start. The most desirable change of all would have to be the result of the game.
Mushfiqur Rahim's brilliant fielding resulted in a direct throw, dismissing Kithuruwan Vithange. Not seeing the cheerful Captain Mushy behind the stumps was a novelty. Witnessing his stunning fielding filled our hearts with pride. The real wow moment though, was seeing the Lankans reduced to 67 for 8. I doubt if there was anybody at that point who thought Bangladesh would lose the game from there on.
Lasith Malinga fielded at the boundary near where I sat for much of the second innings. Every once in a while he would turn around and wave to the fans who were calling out to him; I believe he even signed an autograph for a fan as well. His behaviour towards the Bangladeshi fans was civil and a refreshing sight.
The stadium was not jam-packed as it usually is for a Bangladesh ODI match in Dhaka, but there was a good crowd turnout nonetheless. The people in the stands were as lively as ever: continuous Mexican waves went around the ground followed by claps of appreciation.
Throughout the match the DJ's choice of music was quite disappointing. Patriotic songs (which I have nothing against) were being played when upbeat, cheerful songs were required to lift the players' and the viewers' morale. There was a significant number of Sri Lankan fans who at the start of the game were not very enthusiastic but went home with smiles much bigger than ours.
There was a man dressed in a gorilla costume who received a lot of attention, especially from the children. The ever-present passionate "Tigers" tried hard in picking up the energy of the spectators as the Bangladesh wickets fell hopelessly. But the crowd's disappointment became apparent as the match continued to slip further away from us and most of the spectators started leaving.
Overall the match left me feeling bitterly disappointed. After having exhibited tremendous talent and the ability to win matches under extreme pressure, this kind of a loss is simply inexcusable in my opinion. How do you justify letting the opponents score 180 runs at the end of an innings from 67 for 8? How do you get bowled out for 167 after being 113 for 2?
Wins and losses are part of playing matches, but what you don't want to see is your team giving less than their 100%. Having said that, hats off to the Sri Lankans for pulling themselves back into a game that seemed like it would end with half a day to spare.
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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.
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