Thursday, May 26

Tigers misfire a victory chance



What could have been a landmark victory in country’s cricket history, Bangladesh only dug their own grave after being choked by emotion against mighty India in Bangalore. After being in utter control for 237 balls of the game, they wrecked their own party by playing two rash shots which scripted their heart breaking one-run defeat to India and subsequently eliminated them from the World T20.

What left the fans in utter state of shock was that those two shots were played by the two most experienced batsmen of the side—one of whom is in form of his life and another is considered as the most technically sound batsman of the country has ever produced.

When the calculation was down to two off three balls, anybody perhaps could win this match 10 times of 10 but Bangladesh were in the wrong side. The eternal question which would surely haunt Bangladesh for many days in future is why both Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah Riyad went for glory shots against two utterly bad balls of Hardik Pandya.

With 11 needed in the final over, Mushfiqur eased the equation hitting consecutive boundaries off second and third ball before Riyad took a single in the first ball. Mushfiqur yelled with joy and fisted his pumps to the wild jubilation of the home people who was watching the match in the television. As if the match is in pocket, Mushfiqur went for a big shot and yes it was the ball to hit. Mushfiqur went for his favourite pull shot off Pandya’s slower which landed at Shikhar Dhawan’s hand at deep midwicket. With the teams needed two off two, Mahmudullah didn’t learn from Mushfiqur’s mistakes. He slogged Pandya’s full toss delivery to throw his wicket as Ravindra Jadeja held on a tough catch in a severe pressurized moment. Shuvagata Hom didn’t connect the last ball and his desperate bid to get a bye run ended in despair with Mustafizur Rahman couldn’t sprint harder than MS Dhoni to reach the crease.

At the end those two shots made those two batsman overnight villain to the fans but former cricketers who negotiated such pressurized moment in real match situation urged the fans not to blame them. They said if something should be blamed, it is to the luck which betrayed Bangladesh.

“Every batsman played to his strength in such moment which is the cricketing rule indeed,” said former captain Mohammad Ashraful. “Both Mushfiqur and Riyad played their favourite shot but they didn’t connect it well.”

“If you watch carefully and go through the history, you will see in the recent time Bangladesh signed off with victory in most of the matches by hitting boundary. And on most of the occasion Riyad was the batsman. He in fact played his favourite shot but unfortunately it couldn’t clear the rope. It’s sheer bad luck. You can’t blame the batsmen for this.”

Ashraful at the same time praised the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni who never gave the hopes. According to him, Dhoni ticked all the boxes in a bid to win the match despite being on the brink of the defeat.

“He took the chance with the equation was down to two off three. He needed wicket and he knew the recent history of Riyad and Mushfiqur. He perhaps could sense those two batsmen would want to finish the match with big shots. That’s why he positioned fielders in boundary line when most of the captain kept fielders in close circle in such situation. His tricks duly paid off.”

But Ashraful didn’t think this defeat would down the side psychologically, stating the neck-to-neck fight in Indian soil against the tournament favourite would make Bangladesh inspired in the future.

Another former national cricket Sanwar Hossain however rued for the missed chance but he too blamed luck for the defeat.

“This was our best chance to defeat India at their own soil. I don’t know when this kind of opportunity will come again but in cricket it might happen. We simply couldn’t hold on the nerve. We have just lost the game in the last three balls. Otherwise we were better team than India on that night.”

“Both of the batsmen are Bangladesh’s best batsman and they only could explain why they went for those shots. But if it went for six or boundary, they would have been hailed. I think they were drained by emotion. Now it’s the time to look ahead.

We have fought hard in the last two matches and there are sign of massive improvements in T20 cricket in which we were vulnerable even before the Asia Cup. Hats off to the boys for their performance,” Sanwar said.