Babar is no Rizwan. In terms of the sweep shot. When Nasum flighted one up outside off – fab delivery, that with a great loopy dip – Babar went down on his knee. So far so good. But to fetch it from outside off and swing it over the leg side would need Rizwanish skills; just a desire wouldn’t do. As Babar found out. Unsurprisingly, the ball ballooned up for a simple catch and Nasum roars.
Off the fifth ball, Nasum went down pleading for an lbw shout against Mohammad Nawaz, who too had gone for the sweep. The umpire didn’t agree, and so they went for the DRS. The point of impact though was outside off and Nawaz escaped.
Shakib Al Hasan flings his cap in disgust
Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan bowls during the T20 World Cup cricket match between Pakistan and Bangladesh in Adelaide, Australia, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/James Elsby)
Oh Pakistan… and Oh Shakib Al Hasan…. In the 12th over, they had their fans in a nervous frenzy when Mohammad Rizwan joined his captain back in the hut. Never a great off-side player, but usually really good with square cuts, Rizwan was perhaps caught in two minds with that well-outside-off ball from Ebadot. He went for a tame cut, taking his bottom hand off the handle, squirting the ball straight to point. Couple of balls, more drama as Ebadot appealed for a lbw decision against Nawaz and the ball had rolled out to gully region.
Out came a throw with the batsman well outside the crease but he missed and the ball would roll down to the boundary for four overthrows. Shakib was upset for some reason and took it up with the umpires. Perhaps, he was upset about the time running out for the review. The clock had ticked over. The umpires wouldn’t consider the DRS.
Shakib wailed, flung his cap down to the ground and went to the umpires. The replays show that the ball had pitched outside leg stump. Shakib Al Hasan is one of the more emotive captains in world cricket. In Bangladesh, he has uprooted stumps and flung with decisions he didn’t like. Well, he did that once, but these things stick. Once, from the team balcony, he had done a pelvic thrust at his detractors. The Shakib Al Hasan Emotions file is a huge never ending one.
Shakib slumps to the ground
In the 13th over, Muztafizur Rehman came up with a brute of a bouncer to Mohammad Haris. The ball crashed into the helmet and as it popped up, it ricocheted off the bat and lobbed behind the stumps where Nurul Hasan made a valiant attempt by lunging back but couldn’t read it. And Shakib slumped to the ground in disappointment. It’s been that kind of a day for him. Out lbw in controversial circumstances when most felt he had an inside edge but the third umpire was convinced there was no bat. He had dawdled then, refusing to go back, having chats with the umpire. Then he has bared his heart even more in the last few minutes.
Shakib cam please broadcasters
The game turned again in the 14th over for the nth time. Mohammad Haris first slammed a full-length ball to cover boundary and then pulled a bouncer to deep square-leg. Afif Hossain lunged behind but even before he could thrown the ball back, he had stepped on the ropes. At the end of that over, Pakistan needed 39 from 26 balls. Unfortunately, no camera was on Shakib Al Hasan. At the start of the over, he had tried his sunglasses on. Then removed it. Then it was on. Then removed it. Under pressure, the itch was on. For all the criticism, Shakib has captained the chase well as far as the bowling changes. He even got himself very early in the Powerplay to see if he could do anything but Rizwan swept him for couple of boundaries.
He then brought himself on for the crucial 15th over. Three balls, three singles as Pakistan tried to bat cautiously. Then Nawaz charged out but couldn’t get under the loopy Shakib ball and stabbed it towards cover. They tried to steal the run but the throw was accurate and Pakistan lost a wicket. Shakib led a team huddle as Pakistan were now 92 for 3.
Does Ramiz Raja have a comeback from Saeed Ajmal now?
When Mohammad Haris, who turned the game around with his bat, was selected for the T20 world cup squad, he hadn’t played a single T20. Barbed tongues were out, of course. Former spinner Saeed Ajmal would say this.
Mohammad Haris is selected because he is Ramiz Raja’s choice, he is his favourite. Ramiz Raja likes him, that’s why they kept him,” Ajmal said on his official YouTube channel.” If you want to go by performance, Sarfaraz (Ahmed) has been performing well in the (domestic) T20s. You could have kept him in the reserves.”
The injury to Fakhar Zaman got Haris a game against South Africa where he played a fiery cameo to turn the tide. Here again, under pressure, with the openers out and Mohammad Nawaz too failing, he stood up to be counted.
Shakib spills his emotions all over Adelaide as Pakistan beat Bangladesh to make it to semis
Pakistan players celebrate after the T20 World Cup cricket match against Bangladesh in Adelaide, Australia, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022. (AP/PTI)(AP11_06_2022_000065B)
With three runs needed, Babar Azam kept looking at the big screen. He would stare at himself. And when Iftikhar holed out with just two needed, Babar would glance behind him with a slightly pensive face. Not real worry, as there were lots of deliveries left, but a grimace perhaps. What a ride it has been for Babar.
In the middle, Shakib would hold one final team huddle. He had led the chase well but the batting had left a lot to be desired after a decent start. At least 150 was needed for the match situation to take over. And when Shan flicked the winning runs, Rizwan would envelop Babar in a big bear hug. Shakib would walk out, wiping his face with his sleeves. Babar would go over to his team-mates and hug them all. That 1992 feeling all over again.