Sunday, March 09, 2014
Updated: Saturday, September 04, 2004
|The bitter sweet loss|
So, the Tigers were undone by the Scots and were brought back to the all-forgiving same old mother earth in the twinkle of an over. Interestingly, the win however matters more to the Scotland than the loss means to the Tigers. It was a remarkable season for the Scotland and their quest to stay a step ahead of Ireland got yet another boost.
It was a perfect day for the Tigers to begin with. Slow but steady flows of runs continue to come by at the beginning. The healthy state of wickets at hand soon started to be translated into piles of runs in a crescendo. Young batting sensation Aftab came out of ages to be his usual self and notched up a 98 ball 80. He has been struggling to come to terms with the bat ever since he was drafted weeks ago. But in this match, he wasted no time to redeem himself for the upcoming Trophy.
Nafees opened with Ashraful while Javed was rested. Ashraful made his contribution of 20 before being the first casualty to leave the Tigers at 38 for one. It was apparent from the Scottish decision to send the visitors in after winning the toss, that the pitch might show movement in the early hours. And it was proven correct, as the visitors found runs very hard to come by in the morning. Nafees Iqbal, more used to the opening slot than the one down position, read the pitch well and batted patiently.
As the pitch began to dry up, he geared up as well for a big one only to be caught for 42 off 75 balls. Aftab from the other end showed no signs of mercy. The two, run between the wickets, in a super display of partnership worth 75 runs.
Faisal Hossain Dickens, who never really got the right chances to prove himself, made complete use of this lone opportunity scoring a decent 54 off 71 and showed once again that he is not ready yet to be forgotten so easily.
To our delight, this is the first time in a very long while our upper order showed their true potential. There was no familiar collapse for a change. Even Rajin's premature departure was never felt. A timely and smart decision to promote Tapash ahead of Rana set the tone for a score that is very much defendable by any standard.
What followed afterwards is now history. An attack made up of Tapash, Aziz, Nazmul, Rafique and Rana is the best that can be assembled from the current squad. How this formidable bowling line up failed to defend the defendable might therefore be of some, if not immense, academic interest.
For a quick answer though, we can resort to the old saying "it happens". It happened in the recently concluded Asia Cup against the Lankans, and it happened again here against the Scotland.
It is just unfortunate yet unavoidable that the bowlers do get a bad day or two. What is even more unfortunate is that there was no attempt to rescue the struggling pacers. Either the skipper failed to recognize the situation or he opted to take his chances by ignoring it. Rajin is still a learning skipper but experienced enough to be innovative instead of just following the script. He himself along with Ashraful is no stranger to bowling. With the Scottish batsmen unable to find any free ride from Rafique and Rana, more dosage of spin might have slowed them down a little.
And the ever-reliable Tapash paid the ultimate price in the final over. The no-ball was the killer I guess. With a game this close, bowlers should always be extremely careful to guard against nos and wides. The singles and fours might not have been preventable but the no-ball was.
The loss created quite a havoc among the fans. The defeat by no means was acceptable to them. There is nothing to blame them for. Playing against Canada and Scotland always has emotional components attached to it and as it seems, it will remain so for just a while longer.
However, was it really that depressing, I'd beg to differ. True, the win meant a lot for the Scots but it was just another practice match for us, nothing more nothing less.
Like any other practice matches, we had to tryout a thing or two before the Champion's Trophy. Faisal got his lone break to justify his call up. Aftab and Nazmul were taking it slowly to show their biceps. Mahmud and Javed were given much needed rest to name just a few.
The loss was disappointing but never depressing. It was a close game and both teams can take credit for that, more so for the Scottish side understandably. Our bowlers could have done better. Was there any sign of overconfidence?
Shortcomings in our bowling might easily be looked into, as Razzak, Masri, Sharif and Talha are not far off. But it takes a lot to make similar improvements in the batting department. In this match, the tigers made a perfect batting display we can easily be proud of regardless of the outcome.
In the end, we have more positives to take home to than just the result of the match. Over the years, our upper order failed to live up to their real potential in spectacular displays of ever-familiar collapses. But for now, we can look forward to the young guns to permanently seal off the hemorrhage in near future. The loss was bitter but a sweet one, nonetheless.
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