So as promised, I was at Rogers Centre yesterday for the All-star T20 exhibition, and couldn't be more thrilled to get to see Nasir (or any Bangladesh cricketer) live for the first time ever.
Here's a very quick and brief
account of Nasir's day in Toronto:
His day started poorly when Asia XI captain Jayasuriya called him up to bowl the 4th over of the innings. Brendan Taylor was on strike and duly lifted him over midwicket for 2 monstrous 6s in the first two deliveries. Next four read as: 1 4 1 4. Unfortunately, Nasir never got another over. But he did feature heavily from there on in helping his side win the exhibition match. He drew the first chorus of boos from the crowd when he didn't attempt (misjudged, essentially) a skier from Brendan Taylor at the square-leg boundary, but soon made up for all the hiccups by taking a spectacular catch on one foot just inside the ropes at the long-on boundary to get rid of Jacor Oram. Nasir then took another catch later at short fine-leg when Mark Boucher mistimed a scoop off Walegedera. His ground-fielding was as sharp as ever. He fielded mostly at point during the first few overs and then on the long boundaries for the rest of the innings.
For his batting, Nasir came in at no. 4 after Jayasuriya got out. He guided the first ball he faced, from Kyle Mills, to third-man for 4. He then powerfully pulled Oram and then Mills again for two more 4s, before getting out for 21 off 20 by top-edging another attempted upper-cut. Asia XI was well on course to chase down their target of 165 and eventually got there comfortably, although Oram made it interesting near the end by taking 2 wickets in 2 deliveries.
After the match was over and players shook hands with each other, Nasir immediately walked up to the sidelines where the majority of the Bangladeshi fans were sitting, and spent a considerable amount of time in signing autographs and taking pictures with everyone who requested him to. He appeared extremely reserved and barely said a word. According to one of my friends who was a volunteer for the event, Nasir was the most quiet of all the players who came for the match, and did not speak a word unless spoken to. I myself was extremely proud of the way he remained so humble throughout.
A point to be noted, Bangladeshi jeyseys and flags dominated the small crowd that showed up for the match, and Nasir easily had the biggest support from the stands in the match. It was an excellent sight and a proud moment for any Bangladeshi fan.
Full scorecard: http://www.crichq.com/matches/11383
Tweet updates + pictures from the ground: https://twitter.com/#!/BanglaCricket/