Saturday, April 17, 2021
Updated: Friday, October 14, 2016
The One That Got Away

Parmanand Singh
England needed 21 runs off 21 balls with four wickets in hand to win the series. The chase was in their hands. Woakes had just smacked a four to take the required rate to a run a ball. At this point, captain Mashrafe Mortaza saw an opportunity and placed Imrul Kayes in the first slip region, hoping that a wicket would come. 

Taskin Ahmed, with the ball in his hand, in the middle of his 9th over, was getting ready to steam in after conceding the boundary. This is how commentary from a prominent cricket website described the next ball:

46.4 Taskin Ahmed to Woakes, no run, dropped! Is that the series, there and then?! Mashrafe brought the slip into place, and Imrul got the chance that his country needed. But he muffed it! Chest height, and eminently catchable. 

Reactions from near and far, those at the ground, and the millions of us glued to our screens were shocked at this…'What have you done Imrul?! That was a catchable ball.' It was the one that got away. A microcosm of the series in that brief instantaneous moment in time.
 Could the costly drop have made the difference?
The reaction from Kayes was solemn; he stayed aloof from glaring, unfriendly eyes. It was as if he wasn't there on the ground and not knowing what he had done. Under a pressure situation which he was under, one of two things can happen, either catch the ball in a clutch moment or drop it like some anchor. Handling pressure is essential. It is mental and psychological. This was a major game changer, perhaps the final nail in the coffin for an unprecedented series triumph over the English team. 

We can call Kayes the black sheep in this match if we want to. Heck, there are many black sheep to be found when a game is lost. In the recent past, there was the SLA Mosharraf Hossain, the keeper Mushfiqur, even Shafiul. There’s a trend to all of this. There will always be a Black Sheep. It arises from not being clutch enough…hanging by a thread and waiting for it to snap, instead of making an attempt to claw one's self back up. This mentality is not acceptable. 
Bangladesh's unbeaten streak of series wins at home(dating back to December 2014) ended with a six off the penultimate ball of the 48th over. It was a good streak while it lasted...Mustafizur, Sarkar against Pakistan, the leadership of Mashrafe...the rise up in the ODI rankings.

Ranking points were at stake and it evidently got away from Bangladesh's grasp. During most of this series, it appeared as though the team was playing for something much more important than rankings: That infamous celebration in the 2nd match revealed what it was, Bragging rights.

Fans at the stadium, dejected at Bangladesh's attempt to defend 277 were already heading for the exits when England's target was not even under a hundred. There was a prolonged moment of silence. The DJ's charisma also left the ground, he was a prime example of how pressure can inflate one's psyche. 

In retrospect, Bangladesh lost this series in the first match. The manner in which they gave their wickets away, submitting to the English. It was amateurish. The mentality of the team as a whole is that of the Black Sheep- which has overstayed its welcome.