A moment that will haunt Rahim for long

Mushfiqur Rahim had disturbed the stumps with his elbow before he had collected the ball as the replays confirmed. Kane Williamson survived.

Bangladesh’s Mushfiqur Rahim knocks the bails off before gathering the ball, which meant New Zealand’s captain Kane Williamson was not out despite being short of his crease.   -  AFP

The chance appeared and then disappeared for Bangladesh. And the Tigers allowed the moment to fly away.

The moment will haunt Bangladesh’s experienced wicketkeeper batsman Mushfiqur Rahim for long.

Bangladesh had put up a competitive 244 on the board on an Oval surface where there was some assistance for the bowlers.

And then Bangladesh removed the Kiwi openers before they could inflict too much damage. At the crease were two major New Zealand batsmen, skipper Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor.

If Bangladesh could get a breakthrough here, it could make serious inroads into the Kiwi line-up.

Then it happened, in a flash. Taylor pushed left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan to mid-wicket and set off for a run. Williamson was slow to take off, then accelerated.

Meanwhile the throw came in swiftly to the batsman’s end. ’Keeper Rahim collected the ball, broke the stumps and set off in celebration. Williamson was way short.

But then, Shakib’s expression told another story. He knew what had taken place.

Rahim had disturbed the stumps with his elbow before he had collected the ball as the replays confirmed. Williamson survived.

Actually, had Rahim not got in the way of the ball, it would have been a direct hit, with the middle stump uprooted.

Modern day ’keepers have the habit of collecting the ball in front of the stumps and in the process can rearrange the wickets with their body.

Williamson had scored just eight runs at that point and New Zealand was at 61 for two. The two senior batsmen consolidated.

By the time Williamson (40) was dismissed, he had put on 105 for the third wicket with Taylor (82) and the total has swelled to 160. Both Bangladesh and Rahim fought hard. The ’keeper, putting aside the disappointment of a serious lapse, leaped high to hold a fine overhead catch to dismiss Colin de Grandhomme.

And the Bangladesh bowlers made things difficult for the Kiwis who eventually squeezed out an under-pressure two-wicket victory.

Yet, had Rahim not messed up Williamson’s run-out, Bangladesh might have pulled off a rather comfortable win. It was a game-changing moment.