It was one of those times when you'd wonder if it's live action or highlights being shown. Having said that, you don't expect anything less from a Twenty20, especially when it's a global event taking place, do you?
Twenty thousand people had a delightful little feast on a Sunday late afternoon as Bangladesh put up a one-sided show against Afghanistan in the opening match of the ICC World T20. The Bangla Tigers roared back at the Afghans as they won the game by nine wickets with eight overs to spare.
Captain Mushfiqur Rahim put Afghanistan in to bat after winning the toss and while taking field positions it was made clear that Bangladesh weren't going to take anything lightly. The result? A wicket of the first ball delivered in the tournament - Mohmmad Shahzad gone off a Mashrafe Mortaza special. The Afghans were on the back seat already. The only batsmen who tried to show some resistance were Najeeb Tarakai who opened the bat and Gulbadin Naib who came one down.
Shakib Al Hasan starred for the home team taking the wickets of Naib and Tarakai in two consecutive balls of the sixth over after which Afghanistan had no answers whatsoever. The batsmen who followed came and left before they could settle down. There was no repair work done and the momentum naturally fell in Bangladesh's court.
Bangladesh proved brilliant on the field with two perfect run outs of the 'could have been dangerous' Nawroz Mangal and Karim Sadiq. The Afghanistan players were simply going for the big shots without really planning where to take the innings and the Bangladesh spin attack proved too hot for them to handle.
That took Afghanistan to a meager total of 72, unable to see through the 20 overs. It looked like Bangladesh, who suffered a shock loss to Afghanistan in the Asia Cup recently, would have no trouble chasing it down and they didn't. The openers Tamim Iqbal and Anamul Haque made sure the spectators got to witness a spectacle and get a glimpse of what to expect with the top guns performing.
Afghanistan, though, did get some turn spin off the pitch. That'd be one of the positives they'll take back from the game. But apart from that, they really caused no trouble to the openers as they slowly got closer to the total.
Samiullah Shenwari made it a point to get at least one Bangladesh wicket as Iqbal played down the wrong line and was rapped on the pads with the ball probably going to hit the leg stump. Bangladesh were one down and had plenty of time to chase down the remaining score of 28 in 74 balls.
Shakib, later declared man-of-the-match for his bowling performance, walked in the field and before he could get much on the scoreoard saw a certain Dawlat Zadran run down to him bowling a consistent 140+kmph and inviting trouble. Shakib kept cool and let the heat pass while the Afghans were trying to hold their nerve.
Anamul on the other end, couldn't wait to finish off the match in style. The scores were level, there was no pressure but it took a couple of deliveries for Anamul to find the right ball to hit it over the fence for a six and record a big Bangladesh win. The home crowd had already begun to party, the packed house promised a great event to unravel. The first match was a quick one that had the noise and the spice required to make a blockbuster. Well, there are many more to follow.