Bangladesh’s ‘nagin dance’, Sri Lanka’s ‘pungi’ - the celebration war in Colombo
The rivalry between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka has never been as intense as it has been in 2018, and the two sides went to battle with their contrasting celebrations at the Nidahas Trophy in Colombo on Friday
A new chapter in the history book of cricket rivalries is being written by Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, as players from the two Asian countries have been engrossed in thrilling battles on the field marked by frenzied yet bizarre celebrations.
From Bangladesh registering their biggest ODI win in terms of runs against Sri Lanka in January this year to chasing down their record T20 target in the island nation, intensity has been at its peak between these two in recent times.
It all perhaps began when Nazmul Islam celebrated Upul Tharanga’s wicket in the first T20I of Sri Lanka’s tour of Bangladesh earlier this year. Having had the left-hander caught at deep midwicket, Nazmul broke into the ‘snake dance’ celebration that amused everyone at the Shere Bangla National Stadium.
Mushfiqur Rahim’s blitzkrieg — an unbeaten 72 off 35 balls with four sixes and five fours — earlier in the Nidahas T20 tri-series was indeed a special knock, but his ‘snake dance’ celebrations or popularly known as ‘Nagin dance’ in the tournament’s third team India, was as bizarre as it could get.
Matters got worse on Friday when Sri Lanka and Bangladesh played out an intense virtual semi-final, marred by spats between players, Shakib Al Hasan threatening to pull off his team, and one Sri Lankan player pushing a Bangladesh substitute when he had come on the field with drinks.
For Bangladesh, any win over Sri Lanka brings additional joy. Earlier this year, the Lankans had clinched the ODI tri-series, two-match Test series and two-match T20I series in the Tigers’ backyard.
On Friday, when Rahim was dismissed for a 25-ball 28, he was given a send-off by Sri Lanka bowler Amila Aponso, who played an imaginary pungi (flute) as the Bangladesh batsman walked off.
Later on, when Bangladesh had sealed their spot in the final by defeating Sri Lanka once again in a tense finish, the ‘Tigers’ in unison broke into the ‘Nagin dance’ celebration.
Sri Lanka were knocked out of the Nidahas Trophy 2018 which is being held to mark 70 years of their independence, and Bangladesh have one more opportunity of ‘rubbing it in’ on their hosts when they take on India in Sunday’s final.