"How shit you must be if I got you out twice!"
-Paul Harris to Andrew Symonds, Perth 2008

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Memories: Bangladesh vs Pakistan '99

This is a new series that I might start, when I have shit all to write about and the brain is not coming up with anything clever. Not that it does in general.

Anyway, before this epic match our first ever World Cup campaign was pretty much as expected- a nice ass-whooping. We were only there to be beaten, although we did win one against Scotland. I mean, our captain was too old and our 'star' player was too fat. Hence you can see why never in our wildest dreams had we ever imagined that Bangladesh would achieve something very special in their first ever World Cup.

I must admit that I had very little interest in the game, meaning I fleetingly watched Bangladesh bat. Both the games on that day (New Zealand vs Scotland was the other) would have not even the slightest influence on the tournament.

Other than humiliation for Pakistan.

When Pakistan was three down for 26 runs, a friend called to swear at me for not watching the match. I screamed and ran to turn on the t.v. and from what I recall, alarmed my family who thought I had either died or discovered gold in the house. That's when Inzamam fell to Khaled Mahmud and Geoffrey Boycott uttered some of my favourite words in commentary history,

"Look how short he is! But it doesn't matter because shorty's on fire!"

Just then, as a bloody anti-climax, we had a blackout. Frustrated, I went to sit on my front yard. I am pretty sure that people around the area showed up/called the hydro company and threatened to electrocute them because the power failures usually lasted about a good hour. Instead, it came back within twenty minutes. I was feeling lazy, so decided to hang out in my front yard for a few more minutes but had to run back as my I heard my neighbours scream their heads off.

Pakistan were five down.

The rest of the wickets went by very fast and I have very little recollection of them, other than intense happiness. But what felt even more amazing was the sure knowledge that my team was going to win against the stalwarts, as we waited for Saqlain Mushtaq's run out decision (he was the last wicket to fall). Bangladesh partied for a week. We had not progressed but had surely earned respect. Plus, it was a very emotional victory which you will only understand if you know the history of Bangladesh and how it was born. But I'm not going to get into that right now.

Sometime later, as match-fixing allegations unfolded, most were sure that this match was definitely fixed (I can't recall if anybody was actually found guilty), since there was no way in hell a team like Pakistan was going to lose to Bangladesh. To which I say...just stay tuned for more of my memories from Bangladesh cricket.

5 comments:

Shridhar Jaju said...

Quite some time since your last blog... Good to see you back in blogosphere!

Purna said...

Thanks Shri!

Mudassar @ CricketVibe said...

oh man, you are going to start something really good by titled Memories, but damn you select that match which still hurts somehow even though it was't that significant for Pakistan they were already through comfortably.

But i will not blame you bcoz that was the first significant victory for Bangladesh. Keep it coming Purna.

greyblazer said...

Khaled Mahmud bowling his dibbly dobblers and Pakistan getting out to him was funny as I can't imagine Mahmud getting wickets.

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