Luck was the dominating factor in the first ODI in Multan, which led the home
team to an unconvincing win by a mere 137 runs. Regarded by most experts as
the featherweights of International Cricket, Pakistan received more than its
fair share of luck in the match. Winning the toss, the homeside sent themselves
in to bat, knowing full well the conditions of the pitch would drastically change
after lunch making it extremely difficult to bat.
The early morning conditions of a quick outfield made it a batsman's haven
for scoring quick runs and easy fours. Regardless of this the Pakistani batsmen
were scoring slowly and struggling to find form against the fierce pace attack
of the Bangladeshi bowlers Mushfiqur Rahman and Mashrafe Mortaza. As a result,
it was inevitable that the homeside lost their first wicket, Mohammad Hafeez
(from a brilliant piece of fielding by Mushfiqur Rahman) in the 10th over after
scoring a miniscule 27 runs. At this stage the Pakistanis were in trouble having
lost 1 wicket for a total of 62 runs.
The end came soon after for Yousuf Youhana who was also dismissed cheaply for
49 runs. The only commendable resistence given by the featherweights that is
worthy of note is Yasir Hameed who performed a useful knock before being carelessly
dismissed for 116. Due to Hameed the Pakistanis where able to achieve a respectably
modest total of 323.
Requiring a run rate of only 6.48 runs an over, the task for the Bangladeshi
batsmen was easily achievable had it not been for the poor batting condition
of the pitch and the slowness of the outfield due to the mid-afternoon humidity
and dampness/residue. Despite the two relatively early wickets (which was caused
more by bad luck than good bowling or fielding on the Pakistanis' part), Bangladesh
looked in good form to chase the mediocre score of 324 against the feeble Pakistani
bowling attack. Unfortunately for the tourists and as expected, the pitch worked
in favour of the Pakistani bowlers who were able to do slight damage to the
Bangladeshi batting lineup. Regardless of the unfavourable conditions, debutant
Rajin Saleh gave a fantastic knock of 25 runs from a mere 46 balls before being
unluckily dismissed by a poor bowl from Abul Razzaq.
Alok Kapali also shared the limelight by setting the stadium ablaze with his
whirlwind 26 runs from only 27 balls! Khaled Mashud and Sanwar Hossain also
contributed significantly to the Bangladeshi innings scoring 14 and 19 respectively.
At 9/140 in the 34th over, the Bangladeshis were in a comfortable position to
win, with a wicket in hand and requiring only 184 runs from 92 balls. However,
all hope was diminished after Mohammad Rafique was unluckily dismissed by Mohammad
Hafeez. And so ended the brave Bangladeshi innings at a respectable 186 runs.
The shining star of the match for Bangladesh was without a doubt, Mushfiqur
Rahman. After incurring severe damage to the Pakistani batting lineup, Mashfiqur
set the Pakistani bowlers to task by hitting a whopping seven fours and a commendable
total of 36 not out. Overall the Tigers performed aggressively and impressively
however, due to a string of misfortune and bad luck, was unable to secure the
NB: In case of confusion, this review has been written in jest.