Bengaluru: Truth be told, Bangladesh must realise the opera ain’t over till the fat lady sings. Two runs to get, three deliveries to go and four wickets in hand. It’s unfathomable that a team can contrive to lose from such a situation but that’s exactly what Bangladesh managed to do as they caved in, crumbled and crashed out. Casual? Probably. Careless? Certainly. Then comes the castigation.
At the end, the difference between India and their neighbours was in the experience and the calmness that surrounds a certain individual named Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
On the other hand, the Bangla Tigers, once again showed their tendency to throw away winning matches. If Dhoni and his bold ploy in throwing the ball to Hardik Pandya, him of the youth and uncluttered mind, proved to be a revelation, then whatever Bangla skipper Mashrafe Mortaza might say, Mushfiqur Rahim’s over the top celebration — in Pandya’s face, mind you — with two runs to get proved to be his and the team’s downfall.
Having smashed the Indian bowler through wide cover before an ambitious scoop rolled away to the fine-leg boundary, Rahim decided the match was in his pocket. They needed two runs from three deliveries. The fat lady hadn’t yet started singing.
In a rush to kill it, he shot himself in the foot and his team in the heart as it were. Holing out to Shikhar Dhawan in the deep, he must have been shocked as Mahmudullah followed him next ball, Ravindra Jadeja scooping off a stunner.
The fat lady was walking to the stage. Just that nobody was noticing, least of all the Bangladeshis. They were wrecks now as Shuvagata Hom swung and missed Pandya’s last ball but set off for a single that would at least tie the match, but Mustafizur Rahman’s young legs was no match for the 34-year-old Dhoni’s sprint.
The fat lady had taken to the stage. Just then the third umpire signalled Rahman’s exit and she started singing. That’s when Dhoni broke into a smile.
It ain’t over till it’s all over. Dhoni knew it, Mortaza probably did. Rahim will know from now on. It’s just that it will take them a long time to shake it off.