Shahriar Nafees was up against the mighty Australians in just his second ODI match. He felt really scared if he could see the ball when Brett Lee would bowl to him.
But his nerves settled down when he faced the first ball. Bangladesh lost the match by ten wickets but Nafees scored a solid 47 against a formidable Australian line-up. In a video on his official Facebook page, Nafees spoke about that particular innings at Old Trafford.
In Nafees' words
I made my debut for Bangladesh against England at Trent Bridge. I couldn't do anything mentionable there, scoring only 10 runs. We lost the match by a huge margin. We headed to Manchester for the next game which was against Australia.
After we had checked in the hotel, our coach Dave Whatmore had separate meetings with each of the players. He assured me that I would be picked for the next three matches even if I fail. Whatmore encouraged me to play my natural game and not think too much about the other things.
Australia were determined to make amends as we defeated them in the previous encounter. I was really nervous to face the Aussies. I knew they would come hard.
I remember I couldn't eat anything in the morning. I was scared to face the likes of Brett Lee, Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie and Michael Kasprowicz. I padded up and followed Javed bhai (Javed Omar) to open the batting.
I had never felt so nervous. We had to pass the spectators while coming out to bat. There were numerous Bangladeshis, cheering for us. I was so motivated that all my fears disappeared.
I was about to face Brett Lee, one of the fastest bowlers in world cricket. I had never faced a bowler whole bowled at 90 miles per hour. I was scared if I could actually see the ball when he would bowl to me. I played the first ball and immediately looked at the giant screen. Yes, I could see the ball and it was delivered at 90 miles per hour. The next delivery was short-pitched and I guided it to third man and took a single. That's how I got off the mark.
After Lee, McGrath came on to bowl. I had been watching McGrath bowl since my childhood. He is the greatest Australian pacer. His pace wasn't on the higher side, but his accuracy was brilliant. Gradually I settled down against him as well.
We had lost two wickets by then. Ashraful came on to bat in at four. We trained together at Wahid Sir's (Wahidul Gony) academy. We started talking to each other. Ashraful was sky-high on confidence, fresh from a match-winning hundred and a 52-ball 94. His presence eased out the nerves. I started to push and nudge for singles and doubles.
I will always remember a particular over very well where I took 10 runs off a McGrath over.
After facing Lee and McGrath, in came Gillespie. His pace was in between that of McGrath and Lee. I guided the ball for four on the very first ball which gave me a lot of confidence. I played a cover drive off Gillespie which was my favourite shot of that innings.
I was taking singles and doubles as well. Then Shane Watson came into the attack. I ducked to a bouncer and then flicked one for four.
Then I faced Brad Hogg. I edged one which went for four. I was on 47 off 56 when Andrew Symonds came on to bowl.
By then, I decided to open up the shoulders. I shaped up to play the sweep shot. It was premeditated and Symonds yorked me. The ball hit my off stump.
I had a 90-run stand with Ashraful. Until my dismissal, we were in a good position. Then I decided not to play a premeditated shot again. I got a fifty against Australia in the next match.