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Old March 19, 2015, 01:12 PM
ahnaf's Avatar
ahnaf ahnaf is offline
Join Date: May 31, 2010
Location: Dhaka,BD
Favorite Player: Tamim,Ash,Mash,Shakib
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Default When Bangladesh played out a fantasy - Cricinfo

Beautifully written article. Thought worth sharing.

There was that time, in the sun, at the G, during a World Cup knockout game, where they looked beautiful. And then it all went bad

Thirty-three overs and two balls. Bangladesh were in the game for precisely that long. How long they could, or would, have been in the game after that is unimportant, that is the moment their World Cup ended.

Before that, it was wonderful. It was a land of lollipops and hope. The line and length was more from a fiction on Bangladesh cricket than the real one. The sight of Mushfiqur Rahim, their wicketkeeper, so far back and still taking it above his head was almost surreal. They were at the MCG, a ground their players have dreamed of more than they have played at, which in their almost 30-year ODI history is now twice. And this was a knockout game in a World Cup. Their first.

They were playing for each other in a World Cup knockout match at the MCG against India. They were keeping each other in check in a World Cup knockout at the MCG against India. They were together as a team in a World Cup knockout match at the MCG against India. They had a chance in a World Cup knockout match at the MCG against India.

There were poor moments. Mashrafe Mortaza's first ball was so slow and tame that a pack of elderly mall walkers passed it before Rohit Sharma guided it to the rope. Nasir Hossain dropped, or seemingly missed a return catch from Rohit. Shakib Al Hasan got upset at another misfield. There were some sloppy overthrows.

However, they were outnumbered by the seemingly endless well-placed seam and spin deliveries. Mashrafe kept the field up and the fielders kept the pressure up. Taskin Ahmed's carry. Rubel Hossain's pace and carry. They took three wickets. One through good flight from Shakib and quick hands from Mushfiqur. Rahane was kept quiet until he behaved in an odd way.

Virat Kohli's dismissal was perhaps the moment that Bangladesh cricket would like to mount on their office wall. Rubel went quick and short. Then peppered Kohli four times short of a length outside offstump. Finally, a wide one. Kohli had spent a summer smashing these balls through cover regions all over this land, but Rubel took his edge. He started with aggression, went with patience and then finished with bait.

In 33.1 overs, though one of the best batting line-ups in the world had seven men waiting, Bangladesh had the scoring rate at less than 4.5 an over. It's not pour-champagne-on-yourself-while-dancing-at-Southbeach time, but it's a good place to be.

Virat Kohli's dismissal energised Bangladesh © Getty Images

Mashrafe kept six men in the circle. Mashrafe bowled a very good ball. Umpire Ian Gould didn't think it was good enough. It was straight, and it was probably hitting. But it was near leg stump. Suresh Raina didn't hit it; he was not even in the same postcode as the ball. The only question was whether it pitched in line. It looked like it did.

DRS suggested it wasn't.

The next ball Mashrafe beat Raina again, this time outside off stump. It looked like his quickest ball of the match. Raina had now faced 19 balls for 10 runs.

The next over he faced against Mashrafe was the first of the batting powerplay. Raina backed away, took a length ball from the stumps and Raina'd it over cover. The rest of the match was much like that shot.

There was a no ball that wasn't that could have stopped Rohit's carnage. There was the complete loss of line and length. There was the complete loss of hitting the pitch at times. Bangladesh turned on each other, they went from chest bumps to angry exchanges. There was an edge from Tamim that he wanted to bounce before Dhoni, but it didn't. There was the comedy run out of Imrul Kayes. Dhoni even dived to take a catch. And then there was a catch down on the padded boundary triangle. That maybe moved, it probably didn't. It maybe mattered, it probably didn't.

Five overs after DRS went against them, it rained on Bangladesh. It cleared up soon after for India. For Bangladesh, the clouds seemed to follow them for the rest of the game.

There was that time, in the sun, at the G, during a World Cup knockout game, where they looked beautiful. Thirty three overs and two balls is fleeting, but at least it is something.
আমার অপার সীমানাতে তোমার চিহ্ন তবু রবে বেঁচে ...
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