So close yet so far

September 27, 2014

Bangladesh women cricketers were heart-broken when they came so close to being part of history before losing to Pakistan by four runs in the Asian Games final in Incheon, South Korea on Friday. Pakistan defeated Bangladesh in the earlier edition of the Asian Games when cricket discipline was introduced for the first time and yet they were left in tatters facing an opponent far improved.
But it did matter little in the end as Bangladesh threw a potential win that left everyone in the dressing room, from the management staff to the players, shell-shocked.
There was pin drop silence in the Bangladesh tent after the team lost seven wickets in three overs and fell inches short of their target in the rain-hit match at the Yeonhui Cricket Ground.
Players and management officials just could not believe their eyes as Bangladesh were restricted to 38-9 chasing just 43 runs in seven overs after rain followed Pakistan’s 97-6.
Shahnaz Parvin was the most vocal Bangladeshi cricketer once they got down to the field in the first half but she hardly could protect her tears as the umpire picked up the bails to signal the end of the match.
She was not alone, other players were also seen weeping as the match ended heartbreakingly for Bangladesh.
The disappointment of the country’s most renowned female cricketer Salma Khatun soon turned into anger when she reacted sharply to a question on whether the target of 43 runs in seven overs was anything but too much.
‘It was never a difficult target,’ Salma retorted. ‘We never applied ourselves with the requirement that was needed to be filled in order to win the match,’
‘Instead of getting singles, we played rash strokes that ultimately cost us the game,’ she added.
Salma, who also led the team four years ago in Guangzhou, became somewhat emotional saying that waiting for the night would be the longest for all of their life.
‘It is really disappointing to lose this way,’ said a dejected Salma. ‘Last time we won the silver medal. Today we had a good chance of taking the gold but we failed to grab the opportunity. It is something that will remain deep inside,’ she said.
Everyone, from International Cricket Council president AHM Mustafa Kamal to Bangladesh Cricket Board chief executive Nizamuddin Chowdhury, tried to console the Bangladeshi players but they were hardly successful.
The new Sri Lankan coach Champika Gamage had no answer either as he could not believe what he had seen as no one did the basics right.
‘I think they [Pakistan] started to take the grip on the match after that point of time,’ said Gamage, referring the loss of two crucial wickets in the fifth over.
‘We were quite well placed until then before suddenly we slipped,’ he added.

-With New Age input

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