Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dream Shattered, but the Tigers come of age.....

When Bangladesh restricted Pakistan to a modest 236 for 9, it seemed they would cruise to a well deserved victory in the finals of the Asia Cup. The Mirpur stadium, over packed to capacity, screaming & dancing furiously in anticipation, looked all set to realize a dream.....a mega tournament victory, that was for the takings.
Despite Tamim's well made half century at the top, & Shakib's gallant 60+ try in the middle, the others allowed mind demons to take over & the chase kept going out of hands for Bangladesh, as the crowd caved into a painful silence. With 47 runs needed in the last five overs, hard hitting by Mahmadullah, Mashrafe & captain Mushfiqur brought the crowd back to life & expectancy. But with just four runs needed off the last two deliveries, Abdur Razzak messed up, getting bowled out & Shahadat could only manage one run.....it was all over. Pakistan had sneaked victory as Bangladesh frittered away their best chance till date to win a mega tournament.
The Bangladeshi players looked paralyzed stunned into silence.....Captain Mushfiqur hid his face, weeping inconsolably as Shakib held him in embrace, tears streaming down.....both thinking, "Wish I stayed a little longer with the bat"....& surely, had any one of them held nerves & stayed at the wicket, Bangladesh would have been sure winners & deservingly so....but then, this is cricket....the best of the dreams shatter !!! The whole country would probably take time to recover from this near miss.......

No credit can be taken away from the Bangladeshi cricketers, as they fought like real tigers. They were the real winners from this tournament. In the round robin league, they had lost narrowly to Pakistan, before credibly defeating World Champions India & former World Cup Champions Sri Lanka to reach the finals. Here too, they seemed a well oiled team with belief in their abilities & should have crossed the finishing line, with a little more luck & pluck !!!
As a team, Bangladesh should now look forward....they have achieved a lot from this tournament....they have world class players in Shakib ul Hasan, Mashrafe, Tamim Iqbal etc & have all that takes to become Champions..... they are maturing as a cricket playing nation & should be a strength to reckon with ahead.

All the best Bangladesh....

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