Five Mirpur memories


December 9, 2006: Bangladesh v Zimbabwe

Against a depleted Zimbabwe, the first four matches were comfortably won, with the fourth being the first match at the venue the previous day. The fifth and final match, however, was a tougher affair. Zimbabwe had mustered 193 for eight and an 86-run opening stand between Mehrab Hossain Jnr and Shahriar Nafees seemed to put the matter beyond doubt, but Bangladesh lost their next six wickets for 55 runs. It was then left to skipper Habibul Bashar and a fresh-faced Mushfiqur Rahim to take the team through to their first whitewash over a Test nation, with three wickets and just an over to spare.

Rubel Hossain went into an overdrive of ecstasy as the Tigers whitewashed New Zealand 4-0 in 2010. PHOTO: STAR FILE

October 17, 2010: Bangladesh v New Zealand

Although Bangladesh came into the match with an unassailable 3-0 lead, it just seemed that it was only a matter of time before New Zealand would reassert their superiority. That seemed to be happening in the last match when they had the hosts all out for 174, but Bangladesh were not to be denied a clean sheet against the Kiwis. Rubel Hossain and Abdur Razzak brought them down to 20 for five and after a recovery from Daniel Vettori and Grant Elliott it all came down to eight required off the last over with one wicket left. Kyle Mills hit a four off the first ball from Rubel, but a searing yorker splayed his stumps in the third ball and Rubel’s sprinting celebration was the cherry on top of Bangladesh’s graduation into a force to be reckoned with at home.

March 16, 2012: Bangladesh v India

The match will forever be remembered for Sachin Tendulkar reaching his long-awaited 100th international century, but it was also one in which Bangladesh chased down India’s 289 for five in style. It was a true team effort, with Tamim Iqbal setting up the chase with an accomplished 70, before every batsman in the middle order — Jahurul Islam (53), Nasir Hossain (54), Shakib Al Hasan (49) and Mushfiqur Rahim (46 not out) —  made their presence felt as they won by five wickets.

March 22, 2012: Bangladesh v Pakistan

It will be difficult to recall a Mirpur more frenzied and excited than it was for this match — the Asia Cup final. Having beaten Sri Lanka and India in the round-robin stage, Bangladesh were within touching distance of winning the region’s biggest cricket prize. It was the closest match of the tournament. 237 was the target. Shakib and Tamim had hit half-centuries. Nine runs were required off the last over with Mahmudullah Riyad and Abdur Razzak at the crease, but to the crushing disappointment of a full house, the Tigers fell two runs short. The players wept openly on the outfield — one of the iconic images of Bangladesh cricket.

December 12, 2012: Bangladesh v West Indies

The West Indies, recent World Twenty20 winners, had levelled the five-match series after losing the first two. In the decider, Bangladesh had done half the job by restricting Chris Gayle and Co to 217. But they also went from 188 for five to 204 for eight. Nasir Hossain held firm and after the chaos of thinking that he had hit the winning boundary when the ball did not reach the fence, Nasir put the next ball away for a famous win.



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