I am not sure if you can call Bangladesh team as ‘Bangla Tigers’ after their below par performance; every time they faced India during Asia Cup. A toyger would have done more than that, what so called Tigers did. So for, me they are Bangla toyger who are always retreating when they see an Indian Cricketer. Just to be clear, In India we are proud of our heritage and appreciate the human breed. We refrain from using the Wild Animals to cosmetically flaunt our machismo or manliness.
In Portuguese the move is called the ‘mata leao’, which stand for ‘The lion killer’. And on Sunday night in Dhaka, Bangla toyger were retreating, even the thunder storm which came before the match could not save them from the Indian Cricketing Might (‘mata leao). After a much-awaited delay, the match started with the modified conditions.
It turned out to be a 15 overs match. India won the toss and put the Bangla Cats to the test. The Bangladeshi openers came swinging from the word go, they tried putting all the pressure back on the Indian Bowlers. Ashwin started the proceeding for India. For first three overs, everything looked under control. As soon as Bangla Cats tried accelerating the innings, Soumya Sarkar became the first prey, as he was trying to score quick runs. But when you have a veteran like Ashish Nehra, he can turn the table in no time. That was precisely what Nehra did.
Before the Bangladeshi fans could recover out of the sheer shock accompanied with pin drop silence, Jaspreet Bumrah sent Tamim packing. The deafening silence reassured Indian Bowlers that they were on track & served as a motivation for them.
Now, Shakib and Sabbir started building the Bangladeshi inning. Sabbir played 29 balls to score his unbeaten 32 at the strike rate of 110. The dot ball percentage for Sabbir innings was merely 17%; but his inability to clear the fence was a blessing in disguise for India. He only scored two boundaries & I think MSD did not mind that. Shakib was starting to threaten the Indian Bowlers as he was scoring with a healthy strike rate of 130+. Dhoni called for the precision hunter to neutralize him and as soon as Ashwin started the 9th over; Shakib became the all too easy prey.
While Bangladeshi cats were desperate for putting up some fight, Rahim walked in to lead the charges. He won’t last long either; when you have someone like Virat Kohli patrolling the field. One throw and another Bangla cat was taken out of the equation. From nowhere came the Chief of Bangla Cats(CBC), Mortaza. He came ahead of Mahmudullah. I could not understand that, sending Sabbir on one down was a preposterous decision. Mahmudullah is your best batter; he should bat at no later than four. Look at the T20 World Cricket, Steven Smith for AUS, Virat Kohli for IND, Kane Williamson for NZL and Faf du Plessis for SA all of these are some of the best, if not the greatest batsmen cricket has produced. They all play at number three; the reason is you need someone to keep playing the orthodox cricketing shots without taking any or minimal risks. Mortaza coming ahead of Mahmudullah was as dumb as you can get in a pressure situation. The CBC didn’t troubled the scorer, neither anyone saw him on the field, his appearance was lighting fast, as fast as a duck. Mortaza was sitting like a duck, running like a duck, quacking like a duck. Quack quack…
Then Mahmudullah walked in and took India’s bowlers head-on. He improvised, played some stunning shots which left all of us in awe. Also sending him, down the order was a sheer tactic failure from the Bangla cats. If Mahmudullah came at one down; that would have been a different story. I reckon he played with great flair and conviction. Mahmudullah was the only batsman, who came close to being a force. But if you keep using him defensively; more often than not you will pay the price. Bangla cats had to pay the price by playing a match hardly challenging the Indian Team.
To be continued.. Stay tune for how Indians played the second half. How MSD,Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri had to say on this win.