Bangladesh v Pakistan, World T20, Group 2, Mirpur

The Mirpur crowd's twin faces

ESPNcricinfo picks out the plays of the day from the World T20 match between Bangladesh and Pakistan

Abhishek Purohit in Mirpur

March 30, 2014

Comments: 7 | Text size: A | A

A bit of athleticism from Ziaur Rahman got rid of Kamran Akmal, Bangladesh v Pakistan, World Twenty20, Group 2, Mirpur, March 30, 2014
A bit of athleticism from Ziaur Rahman got rid of Kamran Akmal © Getty Images
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Series/Tournaments: World T20

The silencer
Mashrafe Mortaza bowled three successive dot balls to Kamran Akmal in the first over. The batsman let go the first two outside off, and was beaten by the third one that cut in and bounced over the stumps. The Mirpur crowd were upping their volume steadily, the third one ushering a particularly loud roar. The fourth delivery was short and wide, though, and Akmal cut it hard to the deep point boundary. It was as if the power had been flipped off in the stadium.

The stunner
Bangladesh had put down some sitters in their previous match, and had also pulled off some stunners. So when Akmal top-edged a sweep off Abdur Razzak and the ball seemed to be looping over short fine leg, there was considerable nerves around. However, Ziaur Rahman back-pedalled quickly, leaped as it came down over his head, clasped it with both hands and managed to hold on as he crashed into the ground.

The timing
Ahmed Shehzad was in serious touch, and it was apparent when he took Mortaza for 18 runs in the third over. Three successive fours were topped up by Shehzad coming down the track for the final delivery of the over and smoothly lofting the ball over the bowler. He hadn't used much power and the bat swing was anything but quick, but he had timed it so well it cleared the straight boundary by several metres.

The good fortune
Shehzad had moved into the 80s when he top-edged a pull off Shakib Al Hasan in the 18th over. Even as the skier climbed, the bowler ran after it. Deep square leg, deep midwicket, long-on circled around as well. Midwicket was vacant, though, and the ball dropped neatly in between the onrushing fielders. Shehzad rode his fortune to complete his century and was gifted another life when he was caught in the deep off Mortaza in the 19th over, but replays showed it was a big no-ball.

The rip-roaring welcome
Every boundary hit by a Pakistan batsman had been met by a deathly silence from the Dhaka faithful, and every wicket had been celebrated with gusto - a usual occurrence in the subcontinent. Enter Shahid Afridi, in the 18th over, and convention was abandoned. He was cheered all the way as he walked out to the pitch, even more wildly when the giant screen flashed his picture and name. People know a star when they see one.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (March 31, 2014, 8:38 GMT)

Yes, it's only when you read the last sentence the piece as a whole makes sense. Still, a question arises: What is it that makes a star a star?

Posted by   on (March 31, 2014, 5:44 GMT)

The last sentence is brilliantly written: People Know a Star When They See One. Wonderful.

Posted by   on (March 30, 2014, 16:46 GMT)

@wapuser -- Thats right. The custom of hiring a non-asian couch has always worked for Asian teams.. Indian coach is a bad idea to any asian team, especially to a team and nation like Bangladesh..

Posted by wapuser on (March 30, 2014, 16:11 GMT)

@samad sylhet,may be you don't know Ganguli already made so many bad comments about Bangla cricket and I strongly believe that Indians will not do any good our cricket even they are hiring foreign coach for them. Hope you have now very clear picture about your idea.

Posted by Samad.Sylhet.Mitali.Raynogor on (March 30, 2014, 14:32 GMT)

We need a batting coach. I suggest Sourav Ganguly. Our young batsman need to learn how to bat in T20. Bangali babu wouldn't be bad guide.

Posted by Silentjan on (March 30, 2014, 13:43 GMT)

Shahid Afridi the most loved cricketer all around the globe.

Posted by   on (March 30, 2014, 13:35 GMT)

very well written..:)))

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