3 Days of Cricket: from a Cricket Lover’s Journal (part Ii)

Cricket-lover-diaryBangladesh Vs Omar Quareshi XI (Pakistan) (1st Jan 1986): There was no way I would have been late for this fixture; the Omar Quareshi XI was captained by no one other than Imran Khan, at the top of his pattern at the time; and it comprised a number of other top Pak players like Akram, Salim Malik, Rameez, Qadir and others. At that time it was indeed a rare opening for us to glimpse so many international stars playing simultaneously in Dhaka . I was interior the stadium round 9, an hour before the scheduled start, and currently there was a sizeable gathering waiting. By the time of the start, the crowd had reached something like the 30-35 thousand assess.

Imran won the toss and determined to bat first. The weather at Dhaka on the day was a bit hefty for winter; there were some clouds, they were high and didn’t intimidate the cricket going on; but it did help the Bangladeshi new ball bowlers (Prince and Badshah) swing the ball. Left armer Prince, bowling from the Pavilion end, mostly moved the ball away from the right handers, but aided by the situation, here he organized to move a couple of deliveries back in. The only condemnation of his bowling of this forenoon can be that, his extent perhaps was just a shadow too short; this gave the batsmen that little extra time required to judge the action of the ball.

The experienced Badshah, bowling pattern the other end (the Paltan End), used the status more shrewdly. He quickly discerned that the two Pak openers, Shoaib and Mansoor Akhtar, were more enthusiastic to stay in the back foot, rather than consign themselves to the front foot. So, he kept most of his deliveries up, getting prodigious out swing. On more than one occasions, the Pak batsmen played and missed outside their off stump. We would hear a bawl of anguish from the keeper Sunny, the falls would delay in anticipation, yet at the end there were no borders. Badshah’s fine magic charm of medium stride bowling in the forenoon meeting went unrewarded.

The two Pak openers Shoaib and Masoor had preceding check experience, but at that particular time they were on the fringes of the Pak nationwide group, with Mohsin and Mudassar being the regular Pak openers. With Imran, the Pak head person, discerning from pavilion, they took the occasion very gravely, and determined to take no risk at all in the initial stages. In any case both Shoaib and Mansoor were accumulator of sprints, rather than authentic stroke manufacturers. Shoaib of course was carrying a long family custom, his dad Hanif was the mainstay of Pak batting for most part of the 50′s and the 60′s. throughout that time span he was a common tourist to Dacca stadium. Hanif’s male sibling Raees, in detail had performed 1

st class cricket for East Pakistan. Just couple of years earlier, in 1984, another member of the family, Mushtaq Muhammad, had directed a PIA edge to a short trip to Dhaka. The PIA group furthermore included two of Shoaib’s cousins, Asif and Shahed. This was the first time Shoaib was playing at Dhaka, but observing him bat the vintage timers among the crowd could contrast him with only one man, his father Hanif. There was the same kind of solid defensive technique, the inclination to play with bat close to the pad, there were very couple of drives. Most of his runs came by way of impels and nudges. (Interestingly both Mansoor and Shoaib would eventually bat at no.3 position for Pakistan. Mansoor was recalled for the Pak trip to England in the summer of 1987; but after a frustrating check series he rapidly went in to oblivion. Shoaib was more successful in his new function, and throughout the 1988-92 time span he was a reliable entertainer for the Pak check team).

So, for the first hour and a half we glimpsed slow cricket at the nationwide stadium, but while it was slow, it was by no means dull, it was more absorbing. In fact this was 1st class cricket, at its very best. The bowling was good, the batsmen watchful, very resolute not to hurl away their wickets, and the status offering a bit to the bowlers; all these directed to a great battle in the middle for supremacy. For a short period after the hour assess, the Pak batsmen took the ascendency, as the inexperienced 3rd seamer Dulu provided away some easy runs. The Biman very quick bowler had made a title for himself that season with his stride and aggression, but this was his first large-scale worldwide match, and the event got to him. Here he bowled too short and the Pak batsmen took full benefit. The fifty of the joint venture was dispatched, but the parity was refurbished just before lunch as the part time seamer Rafiq, had Mansoor Caught behind for 25, Rafiq bowled from a short run up, but bowling from the Paltan end, he organized to move the ball away just like Badshah did; different Badshah he organized to find the brim of the batsman’s willow, and keeper Sunny did the rest. shortly there was the midday meal break and we had a good midday meal, conspicuously we were joyous with our bowling brandish in the forenoon. There was apprehension among us that our bowling would be blown away by the Pak batting machine, yet our boyz had instructed great respect from their more vaunted adversaries.

Rameez came to the wicket at No.3, and directly after lunch he motored Prince beautifully through the mid off district; yet the first half an hour after midday meal would pertains to Prince, the tall man from Mymensingh. First he had Shoaib apprehended at the gully district; I presume there were talks in the Pak dressing room during the midday meal shatter to get along with the things (after all this was only a 3 day match not a 5 day one); so while before midday meal Shoaib was joyous to depart any thing outside his off sticks, after the shatter he endeavored to rectangle slash once or twice. Prince put additional effort to get some additional rebound, and Shoaib was unable to control his shot and was snapped up at the gully. Just a couple of minutes subsequent, Rameez was bowled by Prince; another full consignment in line of the off stump, and Rameez eyed another big off drive, but this time the ball kept a bit low (in detail as the agree progressed the uneven bounce would become a big headache for the batters of both sides). The entire Bangladesh team (and the gathering) jumped out in joy, as the ball crushed on to Rameez’s stumps. After a solid start, the tourists had slumped to 77/3. Prince was bowling splendidly from one end, and Badshah from the other end, though he was not getting the identical prodigious swing of the forenoon, was as unquestionable as ever. The underdogs were on top.

In those days Javed Miandad was the regular no.4 of the Pak group, and with Zaheer Abbas retiring previous in the season he was the kingpin in the Pak batting. But, on this tour, although his title was initially included in the touring party he missed the tour for individual causes. Instead, it was Salim Malik who had come at no.4 on the day; and following Rameez’s dismissal Ali Zia connected him. They were under enormous force initially, the bowling was excellent, and the gathering was vociferous. Specially, juvenile Zia (without any worldwide experience) looked exceedingly tentative, his attempt to play mostly of the back foot on a wicket with variable rebound seemed suicidal, yet he endured somehow. Salim at the other end looked more at alleviate. Although, just in his early 20′s he had currently profited considerable check know-how, and ever since his debut check hundred against SL, in the jump of 1982, he had gradually developed himself as a highly dependable middle alignment bat for Pakistan. (And he would stay so for another ten years or so, would head person Pakistan succinctly, before finish his vocation amidst match repairing allegations). Here, in Dhaka, in the nonattendance of Zaheer and Javed he was, his team’s most experienced middle order bat, and he looked completely cognizant of his responsibilities. He treated every ball on its merit; the good ones were treated with large respect, anything too short or remotely wide was punctually dispatched to the boundaries. Thanks mostly to him, the Pak run appliance begun to roll afresh.

As the mid after noon temperature increased, Prince and Badshah after doing their jobs manfully exhausted; it was time for the back-up bowlers, and regrettably they were not up to the task. Dulu was too inexperienced (and too expensive), and there was no specialist spinner in the group. all through the 80′s, there was great shortage of value rotate bowlers in our cricket. Azhar was advised too vintage at the time, Ramchand Goala, another veteran was endeavored against SL a year previous, but was discarded permanently after proving very costly. Wahidul Gani, the leggie, though rather thriving in the household arena, was yet to show his best in the worldwide arena. In this position, the selectors pinned their wants on three part time spinners, skipper Lipu, opener Shantoo and Masum. All three bowled mild off breaks. Here they bowled up to their ability, they got slow turn, but they all lacked the variety and the guiles of a normal office. Time and again I saw, Salim just wait for the ball to turn, and then with a last second flick of wrists impel it to the leg edge for runs. He mostly played with the turn, there wasn’t any necessity for him to proceed for any extravagant shot in the off edge against the spin. Salim and Zia conveyed on until the tea time.

And after that we glimpsed the total domination of the Pak batting, by this time even Zia had connected in the party; but still he was mostly playing 2nd fiddle as Salim proceeded to influence. He appeared set for a fine hundred when he was ‘tragically’ run out for 77. It was made to gaze tragic, but in truth it was done intentionally so that, the gathering, particularly the feminine ones, can get a outlook of Imran’s batting. After all this was mostly an public showing agree, with a gigantic disparity in the relation power of the team’s, and the crowd was there mostly for the entertainment. And at that time, there was no better entertainer in the game of cricket than the Pak head person.

Imran enthralled us in the last hour of the day’s play. A gentle flick on the leg side glimpsed the ball go by plane over the square leg barrier for a six; this was the shot of the day. The day finished with OQ XI 272/4, Imran on the brink of a half years, Zia close to his century, the 1st half of the day had belonged to the local side, the 2nd to the visitors, to Salim and Imran particularly.

I didn’t come back to watch the agree for the residual two days. rather than the next forenoon I joined my family in the coach to Chittagong, on the way to my first visit to Cox’s Bazaar. Of course, there in the beach I pursued the progress of the game at Dhaka. In Papers there was report of Imran’s applaud for the holding of Sunny on a wicket with uneven bounce. On the 2nd morning the Paks looked for quick runs and a declaration during the midday meal break. Imran accomplished his fifty but soon fell to Badshah (for 57), Badshah later supplemented the wickets of Qadir and Masud Iqbal (the WK) to complete with the very impressive 3/ 85, Lipu chipped in the with wicket of Wasim Akram, and the tourists declared at 408/8, Ali remained unconquered at 153.

As our boyz begun their batting after the shatter, they were up against the 2nd best bowling strike in the world, 2nd only to the mighty WI. There was the hostile pace of Imran, Akram and Moshin Kamal, plus the sway of Zakir Khan and the leg rotate of Qadir. (Imran, Akram and Qadir would all characteristic prominently in the after summer of that year when the Pak edge would fight for every inch in the home series against the unofficial world champions WI). In Dhaka, our boyz did well to come to 189 in the first innings (Badshah 46, Lipu 35); but then following on they collapsed awfully against the pace of Mohsin Kamal (6/26) and was bowled out for only 48. The visitors won the match by an innings and 171 runs, but regardless of the gigantic margin of the beat, there was no disgrace for us, it was actually a case of boyz playing against men.

Epilogue: The year 1986 was anticipated to be a large-scale year for our cricket. really there were some positive signs at the starting of the year. In Feb. our nationwide group, commanded by Lipu, did well against the powerful localized edges of Pakistan in a short tour. There, juvenile players like Nobel, Nannu, Suru and Saad impressed. In the jump, Bangladesh performed its first ever authorized ODi against Imran’s Pakistan in the 2nd Asia Cup. But, then our poor performance in the ICC Trophy in England in the summer (‘the summer of despair’ for our cricket) badly halted our advancement. As we would see in the next part, while we made stepwise progress all through the 80′s, at the end of the ten years we were still not ready for the larger phases of the game.