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16 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Bangladesh field four debutants

Tigers play sans Tamim, Shakib for third time in T20 match
Sports Reporter
Bangladesh field four debutants
Four Bangladesh debutant cricketers (L-R) Zakir Hasan, Afif Hossain, Ariful Haque and Nazmul Islam Opu pose for a photgraph before the start of the first T20 International match against Sri Lanka at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the capital yesterday. BCB PHOTO

As many as four players made debut for Bangladesh in the first T20 against Sri Lanka, a move that might look surreal but the hosts perhaps mulled it perfect strategically.

Even though the Bangladesh team management trashed the fear of former coach Chandika Hathurusingha’s knowledge on Bangladeshi players, they got the point in tri-nation and Test series that how it worked for Sri Lanka. The move might have taken, considering that Hathurusingha had hardly any idea on them.

All-rounder Afif Hossain, Ariful Haque, left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam Opu and wicket-keeper batsman Zakir Hasan were the four to make debut. This was the first time since 2014 that Bangladesh fielded four debutants at a time in a T20 match.

At the same time, Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal’s injury played a big factor in bringing up four players in the scene simultaneously. It was the only third time that both of them were not the part of Bangladesh squad in their 70-match T20 history.

Shakib Al Hasan were ruled out from the entire series while Tamim was deemed unfit for the first match due to his bicep injury. There was concern about Mushfiqur Rahim’s wrist injury also but he passed the fitness test on match day and his availability at least helped Bangladesh to become entirely an inexperienced side.

There was talk that three players could make debut while Mohammad Mithun was due to play. However the team management skipped the idea of fielding Mithun, given Zakir’s Hasan’s reputation of an attacking option. Zakir though couldn’t show anything worthy in the first match.

Like him, another debutant Afif Hossain who also had the reputation of a big hitter couldn’t do anything significant as he was out for naught. Ariful Haque played just one ball and remained unbeaten on 1 as he had to do anything hardly.

The four new faces might not do anything worthy but Bangladesh kept their promise of playing a fearless brand of cricket. While Zakir Hasan showed no nervousness in the crease and took the strike first, Soumya Sarkar went after the bowler right from the word goes.

The way Soumya was playing in the last year, a half-century was due but he couldn’t. However the he got the elusive half-century in the first match against Sri Lanka, by taking the bowlers in disdain. Soumya’s 32 ball-51 actually set Bangladesh up front.

At the same time, Bangladesh’s traditional vulnerability against the leg-spin was widely exposed once again. Jeevan Mendis, a street-smart leg-spinner almost ruined Bangladesh’s hope of making a big score by dealing a double blow, taking out Soumya and Afif.

However Bangladesh kept belief on their fearless cricket as they didn’t let them bog down. Mushfiqur Rahim and captain Mahmudullah kept up the tempo, set up by Soumya and it was the fact that indeed helped Bangladesh post their highest ever T20 total.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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