Bangladesh v Hong Kong, World T20, Group A, Chittagong

Nerves, dives and relief

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the final Group A match between Bangladesh and Hong Kong

Alan Gardner in Chittagong

March 20, 2014

Comments: 4 | Text size: A | A

Irfan Ahmed blasted three sixes and three fours in his 28-ball 34, Bangladesh v Hong Kong, World T20, Group A, Chittagong, March 20, 2014
Off the mark at least: Irfan Ahmed almost fell for another duck © ICC
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Players/Officials: Irfan Ahmed | Munir Dar
Series/Tournaments: World T20

The opener

After Bangladesh's convincing start to the tournament, Chittagong was ready to celebrate their serene passage into the next stage. The mood quickly became subdued when Tanwir Afzal swung his second ball back in to flatten Tamim Iqbal's off stump. When the sixth delivery of his opening over snaked into Sabbir Rahman's front pad as he played down the wrong line, Bangladesh were 3 for 2 and brows were beginning to furrow.

The desperate crawl

Having lost those early wickets, Bangladesh went back into Associate-disciplining overdrive. Anamul Haque and Shakib Al Hasan thrashed 48 off 5.5 overs, with the former triggering a tsunami of cheering with three consecutive fours off the bowling of Nadeem Ahmed. The loudest noise came from the third of those, as Anamul slapped a lofted drive towards deep extra cover, where Babar Hayat let the ball slip through him. As he turned, groped and scrambled after the ball that then trickled on to the rope, the crowd howled in delight.

The replay I

When Mahmudullah played around a delivery from left-arm spinner Nadeem Ahmed and the bails ended up on the floor, cause and effect seemed pretty straightforward. While Nadeem pointed at the evidence, Mahmudullah hopefully hung around, suggesting that wicketkeeper Jamie Atkinson had maybe dislodged the bails with his gloves. It only took a quick second look from the third umpire to confirm that Mahmudullah had been bowled.

The replay II

Bangladesh were 101 for 6 with more than six overs left to bat when Farhad Reza extravagantly threw the bat at a wide delivery from Nizakat Khan to be caught behind off a thin edge. The next man, Abdur Razzak, took guard, watched Nizakat toss it up outside off and flailed at it hard, nicking off in identical fashion. The only difference was that Razzak was left-handed.

The near miss

Hong Kong's opener Irfan Ahmed had established the rather ignominious record of being dismissed by each of his first two deliveries in T20 internationals. He nearly made it an unwanted hat-trick when, after Al-Amin Hossain had started with a leg-side wide, Irfan pulled the ball back towards the bowler. It was not the firmest of connections but Al-Amin could not stop the chance squirming out of his grasp above his head and Irfan has his first runs at the World T20.

The tight second run

As Hong Kong battled to avoid being wiped out, Munir Dar, the 40-year-old spinner who is banned from bowling but remained in the squad as a batting option, steered a cut wide of third man. Thinking it was going for four, he ambled the first run, only for Al-Amin to make a terrific diving save on the rope and force Munir to turn on the gas in pursuit of a second. As Munir barrelled towards the crease, Mushfiqur ran across to collect Al-Amin's throw and the two collided. The bigger (and older) man came off worse but Munir was able to continue.

The moment of relief

When Mahmudullah pushed one past Munir's outside edge with Hong Kong still needing 41 runs to win, there was no immediate reaction in the stadium. Bangladesh had bowled 13.1 overs and, although the possibility of a slew of no-balls and wides theoretically existed, the hosts were through. Moments later the message flashed up on the big screen, followed by the image of Shakib standing in the field grinning. Another banana skin avoided. Just.

Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by BARFI on (March 23, 2014, 3:32 GMT)

Bring Ziaur Back. And fire Nasir

Posted by Manik_mia on (March 21, 2014, 4:03 GMT)

Is there any Captaincy training in Australia or somewhere in the World? We should Mushi over there for a training course. He does not know how to plan on the field. He may have a plan written out and follow that only. He can not change plan as need basis.

Posted by i_amVIVA on (March 20, 2014, 22:28 GMT)

Very depressing performance for BD; in stead of any momentum, they are crippling into big stage. This is pathetic for the useless some. Next big boys' club, here is my sugggestion: replace Razzak, Mahmudullah and Reza; they're useless, out of form or expensive. Anyone from the remaining 15s would suffice, if BD want to have any chance of succcess further in this tournament.

Posted by Bangladesh_Forever on (March 20, 2014, 19:46 GMT)

The first two BD wickets fell due to some great bowling and Tanwir Afzal deserves full credit (Tamim's weakness in defense is again exposed though). There wasn't much wrong in Anamul and Shakib's slogging but one of them, preferably Anamul, should've played an anchor role. Bangladesh couldn't read the changing situations well to rectify approach promptly. After Musfiq had fallen, one couldn't expect much really 'cuz the rest of the batters weren't simply good enough for T20I... As for Forhad Reza (and Mahmudullah, even after his 2 wickets) being in the squad (let alone the playing XI), not much to say - these kind of selection blunders by BD management are commonplace. Last but not the least, Mushy's gross captaincy errors AGAIN cost BD a match as he released the pressure with wrong choice of bowler and defensive field-setting when Hong Kong were 5 down... Just another wake-up call for Bangladesh...

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