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20 November, 2017 00:00 00 AM
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Zakir, Sujon come to fore in BPL-5

Sports Reporter

The performance of Mehedi Hasan Sujon and Zakir Hasan is the testament as to why Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) is required in this country regardless of the increasing criticism that the tournament sparks betting and other scandals.

Both Sujon and Zakir weren’t unknown to the cricket fraternity but they at the same time weren’t known to the larger audience and here’s the charisma of BPL. The tournament made them star overnight, introducing them to the huge population since BPL is widely regarded not only in the country but also in abroad.

Zakir was the member in Mehedi Hasan Miraj-led team that achieved third spot in the last Under-19 World Cup, hosted by Bangladesh. He has been consistent performer over the last two years in the domestic circuit. Zakir has three first class centuries in 22 matches and seven List A centuries in 30 matches under his belt, a proof of his consistency.

Mehedi Hasan Sujon is basically a batting all-rounder. Some days ago his 177 for Khulna in the National Cricket League hogged the headline. Even in the last match of the NCL he was unbeaten on 88 runs. He has so far three first class centuries and one List A century in 22 and 30 matches respectively. In bowling he had 22 and 32 wickets in two format of the cricket so far.

For both of them, the nursing ground was first class and List A cricket but those two formats couldn’t bring them under the spotlight because domestic cricket is not followed by larger audience. They weren’t used to play in front such a huge crowd, a thing that made them nervy at the start of their first match.

For Sujon, an off-spinner, it wasn’t easy to keep up his composure against the two T20 stalwarts –Chris Gayle and Brendan McCullum. It was the masterstroke of Comilla Victorians coach Mohammad Salahuddin to devise a plan to neutrilise Gayle and McCullum effect by an off-spinner and therefore Sujon was called up. Gayle’s shortcomings against quality spinner at the start of the innings, was exposed time and time again. There was proof. Off-spinner Sohag Gazi made Gayle his bunny during West Indies’s tour in Bangladesh in 2012, a thing that probably made Salahuddin inspired.

However Sujon was given a task to watch Gayle and McCullum’s video and to his horror, he found no weakness of those two T20 greats. To his delight, the pitch was slow and low and it worked in his favour. In the first ball, Mehedi delivered to Gayle, the Caribbean legend could have been dismissed. But the umpire didn’t respond to the leg-before appeal. Later, the TV replay showed it could have taken the leg-stump.

Gayle was dismissed by Rashid Khan but the credit should go to Sujon for creating enormous pressure on him. Sujon later was rewarded with the wicket of McCullum and then took out Shahriar Nafees to end his first spell on 3-0-4-2.

“It could have been great if I got the wicket of both McCullum and Gayle. I was dreaming about the match since Salahuddin Sir told me that I would play this match.”

Zakir has been the Rajshahi Kings’ consistent performer since he was given the chance. In his first match in BPL, he played a match-winning 26 ball-51 not out against Sylhet Sixers and then played 23 ball-36 against Dhaka Dynamites.

“I am not surprised by his performance,” Rajshahi kings captain Darren Sammy said. “He is good hitter of the ball and he isn’t the guy who would fear for anything.”

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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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