Sunday, December 3, 2023

Greens trump Reds

The return of competitive Twenty20 cricket was welcomed yesterday by a large crowd who were treated to a late onslaught, but saw little from those Tigers who will take on West Indies in the same format next week.
Around 8,000 people turned up at the floodlit Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium expecting to find the usual Twenty20 nosh-up but all they got was a low-scoring encounter that had more airy swishes than meaty blows. BCB Red, a team that had most of the Tigers’ Twenty20 line-up, made 119 for six after electing to bat first, which BCB Green chomped down in only 16.5 overs, making 121 for one.
But there was entertainment. It began and ended with the BCB Green’s reply with the bat when Rokibul Hasan, Shahriar Nafees and Mominul Haque went after the BCB Red bowlers, virtually the bowling line-up of the Tigers.
The much-maligned Rokibul, who was sent to open, played a forceful hand at the top of the innings, hammering a 14-ball 23 that had four boundaries and a pulled six off Namzul Hossain. Perhaps it was the lack of pressure but some of his strokes — the smash through point or the flowing drive down the ground — reminded everyone that the Jamalpur-born still has much to offer.
There were very few singles on show as his opening partner Shahriar Nafees also got stuck into the BCB Red attack, despite losing Rokibul in the sixth over with the score on 45. Abdur Razzak picked up the only wicket.
Nafees ensured a stroll to the finish line with his unbeaten 55-ball 61, hammering seven boundaries and a slog-swept six. He shared an unbroken 76-run stand with the young Mominul Haque, who struck two sixes, both lofted drives off Elias Sunny and Robiul Islam respectively, and two boundaries in his 32-ball 35.
But the earlier show by those for whom the match was turned into a T20 affair from the originally scheduled one-dayer failed to inspire.
Tamim Iqbal lasted only five balls as he gave an easy catch to Noor Hossain after scoring six. The promoted Naeem Islam batted out seven balls before his first try to burst through the in-field was thwarted by a flying Shuvogoto Hom Chowdhury at mid-off.
Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim’s wild slog had him caught at mid-wicket by Noor Hossain before Imrul Kayes, the only top-order batwho batted with authority, was caught behind for 19 off 15 balls. Nasir Hossain too fell cheaply when Alok Kapali trapped him leg-before for nine.
Mahmudullah Riyad and Academy recruit Tanvir Haider added 44 for the seventh wicket with the latter hitting two sixes in his 28-ball 26.
The newly-appointed Tigers’ vice-captain made an unbeaten 30 off 35 balls with two boundaries but his innings too depicted the stark lack of Twenty20 experience among all the batsmen.
Pacemen Shahadat Hossain and Alauddin Babu kept the Reds’ batting in check with two wickets each but more than their scalps, it was the discipline that actually worked.
The two sides will play a second practice Twenty20 tomorrow at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium.
BCB Red: 119-6 in 20 overs (Riyad 30 not out, Tanvir 26; Shahadat 2-12, Alauddin 2-14).
BCB Green: 121-1 in 16.5 overs (Nafees 61 not out, Mominul 35 not out; Razzak 1-14).
Result: BCB Green won by nine wickets.

-With The Daily Star input

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