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Red-ball discards prove their worth

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 5th October, 2020 09:34:37 PM
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Red-ball discards prove their worth

Bangladesh red-ball discards proved their worth in the opening day of the second two-day intra-squad match at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Sunday.

Pace bowler Taskin Ahmed made sure that he continues to deliver as he did in the opening game while batsman Mahmudullah Riyad and opener Imrul Kayes proved their point too.

While the duo scored fifties respectively to help Ottis Gibson XI put up 248 runs for 8 wickets in 72 overs at the end of the day, Taskin grabbed 3 wickets to restrict the opponents to a sub-par total.

The two-day match is considered to be the first step towards resumption of competitive cricket in Bangladesh and if anyone made the most out of it, it is certainly Taskin as he continued to show that he is returning to his former self by performing in back to back matches.

In the opening game, Taskin picked 4 wickets to show that he is returning to form but all the eyes were fixed on him as everyone was waiting to see how he performs in the second game considering his injury history.

Taskin proved that he is getting stronger with every passing day as he extracted considerable amount of bounce despite the wicket being on the slow side of things and was surely not ideal for any pacer.

Taskin removed both the openers Nazmul Hossain and Yasir Rabbi inside the first hour but Mahmudullah and Imrul survived the storm and stitched a partnership worth 80 runs but what was more praiseworthy is that they stuck to the basics without trying to showcase their potential despite the fact that they were regarded by the team management as old horses.

The emergence of Shadman Islam, Saif Hasan and Nazmul Hossain had literally blocked all doors for Imrul in the longer format squad and furthermore there was no ODI cricket was well where the left-handed opener could prove his point.

Though the performance in the intra-squad match will hardly be counted when national selectors sit to form their squad for the upcoming home series against West Indies in January but the experienced campaigner at least showed that he is yet to be ruled out to make a comeback, courtesy of his 59 runs from 93 balls before sparking a row after getting out against Taskin.

Taskin caught and bowled Imrul after the ball hit the shoulder of the bat but Imrul did not start walking as he felt that it touched the ground first and reacted sharply when umpires gave him out.

Imrul said that though he scored runs he is not happy.

“I played a match after a long time. I actually faced problems of adjustment, but still everyone played very well. But I personally haven’t played well,” said Imrul.

“There was a lot of focus in this match and everything went according to plan. I wasn’t able to bat the way I wanted to. These two matches were very important for us, because we played after a long time,” he said. 

“If you don't play for a long time, it doesn’t matter how much planning someone does. Everything goes down the wire. The batsmen have taken advantage of such an opportunity,” he said.

“In general, after such a break, every player stays a little nervous in the first one or two matches. But I think, everyone did their job properly during the break due to which we did not face much problem as cricket resumed,” he added.

For Mahmudullah, it was a different battle altogether after he was asked by the team management to concentrate on white-ball cricket since the humiliating defeat in Rawalpindi Test where Tigers were humbled by an innings and 44 runs defeat.

Mahmudullah's 25 runs in the first innings and a golden duck in the second innings didn't do his cause any good and it looked as it’s game over for him after he was dropped against Zimbabwe in the Test series at home.

Mahmudullah said that he is ready to put up a fight to stage a comeback and he did exactly that with his 56 runs from 116 balls to prove that he got the right temperament required to excel in red-ball.

Initially Mahmudullah looked rusty and rain interruption also played its part but after scoring a four through flicking an in swinging delivery from Mohammad Saifuddin, he started to regain his composure and played some delightful strokes which include a brilliant cover drive.

Mahmudullah was looking set to make a noteworthy score but unfortunately had a soft dismissal against Saifuddin to ruin his chance just the way Liton Das spoiled his one after making 44 runs.