Monday, 29 November, 2021

When fifties aren’t enough!

When fifties aren’t enough!
Bangladesh wicketkeeper batsman Mushfiqur Rahim (right) plays a shot as Sri Lanka captain Kusal Perera looks on during their first ODI match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the capital on Sunday. —BCB PHOTO

Bangladesh’s senior batsmen failed to understand the value of their wickets again despite getting set at the crease during the first match of the three-match one-day international series against Sri Lanka at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Sunday.

Skipper Tamim Iqbal (52 off 70) scored a dogged fifty while Mushfiqur Rahim (84 off 87) made a valuable contribution that helped Bangladesh score 257-6 against the visitors but their untimely dismissals with poor shot selection unable the hosts to set a commendable total in the series opener.

Tamim had only to blame himself for his dismissal as he was in two minds before playing off-spinner Dhananjaya de Silva and the ball hit the boots that made him return to the dressing room.

The southpaw earlier rescued his team after they were left struggling at 43-2 in the 13th over with his 51st half-century but his getting out in the wrong time forced Bangladesh to lose the momentum in their innings.

Mushfiqur repaired the damage of Bangladesh innings with Mahmudullah with a 109-run stand for the fifth wicket and took the hosts over the 200-run mark.

When it looked like the wicketkeeper-batsman was heading towards his eighth ODI ton, first, after ICC World Cup 2019, he managed to get out while trying to play a suicidal reverse sweep and found Isuru Udana at third man region.

It wasn’t the only instance when Mushfiqur tried to play reverse sweep in such an important situation of an international match and despite having all the abilities to score runs with his known drives and cuts in the slog overs, he left Bangladesh in desire during that time. 

The Tigers couldn’t accelerate their innings after Mushfiqur’s ill-timed out as they could make only 49 runs off 41 balls only to be content with a mediocre total.

Bangladesh Cricket Board President Nazmul Hassan Papon couldn’t hide his frustration after watching their poor shot selections that got them dismissed as he believed both the batters could have struck hundreds in the match.

“Mushfiqur played an extraordinary innings and he’s a great player. But I’m feeling sad for him as he missed a hundred. He played a reverse sweep on 84 but he knows very well how to play these shots. But it looked odd to me,” Nazmul told reporters at BCB premises.

“I think Tamim could have scored a few hundreds in this Covid situation. I think such condition here was ideal for him and he can tell it better than me as he played in the field,” he added.

However, Bangladesh can take false confidence of posting a total that will make the tourists sweat in such hot and humid condition but on the same note, these kinds of mistakes had made them pay heavily abroad in several matches by losing the momentum in key moments of the game.

Meanwhile, Shakib Al Hasan failed to shine with the bat in his comeback game as he could only make 15 runs and was dismissed at long-on with a mistimed shot.

Only Mahmudullah (54 off 76) played a flawless innings that not only boosted his confidence for the remaining part of the series but also guided Bangladesh to a respectable total.

However, the seniors must understand when they are on top of their game they should carry on their innings in such key moments as the juniors are still unable to live to their potential.