Asia Cup victory for whom —Pakistan, BD or poor umpiring?
A sharp contrast was vividly visible in the two sides. Whereas Pakistanis seemed to lack planning, and benefitted mostly from its luck, the Bangla Deshis played with a well thought-out plan from start to finish. They chased the Pakistani total of the opening match, and suddenly lost control to the guiles of Saeed Ajmal, and Umar Gul’s calculations to lose the inaugural fixture by a narrow margin. Then they humbled the five-time title winner India in a run chase, that portrayed them in a new frame of mind. To reassure the world about their ability to win against heavyweights, they made short work Sri Lankans I n their two remaining league matches. Both these victories were outstanding the presented a totally new image of a team, which until March 11, had been highly under-rated.
In came the crucial contest against Pakistan, an encounter, for which the Shere Bangla Stadium, overflowed with fans, among who were the president and the prime minister of their country. The BD captain was lucky once again on the spin of the coin, and remained steadfast with his planning to make the rivals bat first. Pakistani openers started off well, but left-arm batsman Nasser Jamshed, in a sudden rush of blood, fell victim to the rival’s game plan to restrict their singles, with their field placings. In sheer frustration, after hitting two beautiful boundaries, he tried a skier, and was caught. Jamshed is a classy player,but need to control his temperament, should remain cool in approach, and pursue the exciting innings of 100 in an earlier fixture. He lost control, and threw away his wicket. Veteran Yunus Khan was aghast at umpire’s decision to adjudge him lbw on a delivery which he had clearly edged.Umar Akmal too was victim of yet another glaring misktate, out caught behind, to a ball which was miles away from his bat. The two umpires Ian Gould and Steve Davies, had faulty judgements. Pakistan opener Mohammad Hafeez, earlier, was plum in front, and was given not out. Likewise, Bangla Desh opener Tameem Iqbal was plum, Saeed Ajmal’s straighter one was show by TV replays hitting the middle stump. He was given not out. Horrendous was umpiring decisions. Error of judgement is part of the game, but repeated mistakes is unforgiveable.
Jamshed’s suicide brought pressure on following batsmen. The opener should have realized that the Pakistan middle order is brittle, wholly unreliable and undependenable. We have batting upto number 7, but only on paper. The fact that none of the Pakistani batsmen could hit a half century, is a poor reflection of the team performance.We won to be Asian champions, The country was jubilant. They deserved all the praise. A victory is a victory, whether by one wicket or one run, but then the performance of the team too needed to be scrutinized, and scrutinized closely. Was it a convincing victoy. Certainly not. Luck played a bigger role here, than team players.
Our bowling side too left much to be desired, but not much can be expected of bowlers who had been doing their job well indeed. They had been winning matches for Pakistan most of the time. Yesterday too, they kept their sleeves up, and were ultimately rewarded for winning laurels for their country. At the same Bangla Desh should be lauded for a great fight back. They were a much superior side in fielding, bowling and batting. Two of their players , opener Tameem Iqbal, and and Shakeebul Hasan in the middle order played remarkable knocks, of 60 and 68 to raise hopes for the first ever title win for their country. The BD players were superb in their fielding. Off course, Yunus Khan too held three remarkable, unforgettable catches, but we showed field lapses and overthrow, in the last over specially. Bangla Desh spinners Razzak and Shakeebul Hasan shared honours with Saeed Ajmal, and Umar Gul,although the role in the end of medium pacer Aizaz Cheema for his three wickets, was outstanding, and largely responsible for fetching us the victory. His last over when 9 runs were required in six balls, he was excellent, and despite an overthrow, cheked the run rate.