Saturday, July 13, 2024

Perfect practice for Tigers

Bangladesh made a confident start handing a nine-wicket defeat to Canada in their first lead-up match to the World Cup at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium yesterday.
In front of a strong 12,000-plus crowd in the new-look stadium, the Tigers once again established their supremacy against the ICC associate nations and rubbished all the pre-match talk about a repeat of the 2003 World Cup setback as they simply toyed with their Northern American opponents by finishing the one-sided affair in one session.
The bowlers first did the job by wrapping up helpless Canada for 112 runs in 37.3 overs and then the Tigers achieved the brittle target in just 19.2 overs with the loss of one wicket. Local hero Tamim Iqbal entertained the jubilant crowd during his fiery knock of 69 from 50 deliveries with seven fours and three big sixes (two over long-on and the other a straight one).
But the question was whether it was a wise decision for Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan to bowl first after winning the toss rather than giving the batsmen enough opportunity as well as testing the bowlers under lights before the big matches.
Shakib’s deputy Tamim, however, defended their decision by saying that their main focus was to win the match first.
“Winning is a habit and our main target was to win the game first. We did well in the 2007 World Cup because we went into the tournament after winning some games. So, it’s nice that we began with a win. We are quite satisfied with our performance today (Saturday),” explained a confident Tamim in the post-match briefing.
“Spin bowling is our main strength and the dew factor could be an issue if we bowl in the second session. We are happy that everything has happened according to our plan but still we can improve a lot of things before the big challenge on February 19 (against India),” the dashing left-hander added.
He praised Shafiul Islam highly as the right-arm paceman set the tone by removing both openers. His new ball partner Rubel Hossain also claimed two scalps but was expensive while Nazmul Hossain also bowled four overs as a third pacer and conceded only ten runs in four overs without any success. The encouraging factor was that all three pacemen bowled in good line and length. And then it was the slow bowlers who, as expected, found the Canadian batsmen wanting. Captain Shakib Al Hasan was the most successful bowler with three wickets for five runs in 3.3 overs while Mahmudullah Riyad took two for nine and Naeem Islam captured the other wicket.
“Our planning was to give everybody a chance in the practice match. It was nice to see that the pacers executed the plans, especially Shafiul impressed everybody. The way he dismissed John Davison (with a slower delivery) was really fantastic. But still it can be much better,” said Tamim.
When Tamim showered praises on his team’s bowling performance, Canadian skipper Ashish Bagai, who top scored 30, gave a different opinion about his side’s batting debacle.
“I think it was not the good bowling by the Bangladesh pace bowlers rather our poor shot selection that caused the early damage. And definitely Bangladesh’s main strength is their spin bowlers. The score was not good enough. The wicket was little bit low but still we could have managed 220-225 runs,” said Ashish Bagai when asked about Bangladesh’s bowling performance.
It was a simple target for the Tigers to achieve and openers Tamim and Imrul Kayes, who was unbeaten on 39, played with the manner which was exactly required. And interestingly Bangladesh took the batting Powerplay, one of the areas the Tigers are desperate to improve, earlier (between 13-17 overs) than their common practice.
“We have a plan of taking the batting Powerplay early if I play well,” said Tamim, who expressed his disappointment at the way he was bowled after making the dazzling half-century.
“I always go for big shots which was not good. It was rubbish, the way I was dismissed. Actually there was some pain in my hips,” said Tamim, who was also dropped at mid-on after completing the fifty.
The Tigers will return to Dhaka today and play their last practice match against the formidable Pakistan at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on February 15.
CANADA: 112 all out in 37.3 overs (Bagai 30, Hansra 22, Cheema 15; Shakib 3-5, Shafiul 2-5, Mahmudullah 2-9)
BANGLADESH: 113-1 in 19.2 overs (Tamim 69, Kayes 39 not out; Cheema 1-16)
Result: Bangladesh won by 9 wickets


Via: The Daily Star

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