Asia Cup 2018: Watch - Mashrafe Mortaza stunner that changed the game for Bangladesh
Catches win matches is an old cricketing adage and keeps reminding cricketers and fans alike of the importance of grabbing that half a chance, which could tilt the balance of a match in a team’s favour.
In Wednesday’s virtual semi-final between Bangladesh and Pakistan, ‘captain fantastic’ Mshrafe Mortaza took a blinder at mid-wicket to change his team’s fortunes. Bangladesh had posted a fighting total of 239 on the board and the bowlers responded by reducing Pakistan to 18/3.
That is when the experienced Shoaib Malik walked into the middle and stringed together a partnership with opener Imam-ul-Haq. The batted with caution and put on 67 valuable runs for Pakistan to steady the innings. Bangladesh tried everything to break the partnership but it kept growing and threatened to tilt the contest in favour of Pakistan.
That is when Malik played an uppish flick in the mid-wicket region off the bowling of Rubel Hossain. 34-year old Mortaza, who has had his fair share of injury concerns throughout his nearly two-decade old career, sensed the chance and leaped to his left to take a reflex catch.
The stunning catch meant Shoaib Malik was dismissed for 30 and the important partnership was broken. Pakistan struggled thereafter and eventually lost the match by 37 runs. Bangladesh entered the final of the Asia Cup for the third time in the last four editions.