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Bowler Mashrafe's unimpressive World Cup

  • Published at 01:55 am July 4th, 2019
Mashrafe
Mashrafe bin Mortaza bowls against India during their World Cup match in Birmingham Tuesday Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik from Birmingham

Let’s hope the captain will rise to the occasion and bowl brilliantly in the last game with his cunning ability of taking wickets in crucial stages of the game, which he did with aplomb for the last few years for Bangladesh

Everybody knew, and Mashrafe bin Mortaza knew himself all too well that it will be his last World Cup. 

The charismatic captain surely would have dreamt of finishing his World Cup journey on a high note, and possibly, in the best possible way. 

As a team, Bangladesh have played quite well throughout the tournament, and earned respect and applaud from fans, and critics alike, from all around the world. 

Skipper Mashrafe deserves credit as he has led the team well in entertaining games. 

But as a bowler, Mashrafe’s World Cup has been very unimpressive. 

Mashrafe has taken only one wicket in his seven innings so far.

That only wicket came against England in the third match. 

Probably he was a bit unlucky as a few catches were dropped during his bowling, like Tamim Iqbal grassing an opportunity against the West Indies in Taunton. 

Mashrafe bowled brilliantly in that game against the Windies as the ground was small and he conceded just 38 runs in eight overs. 

Later, Sabbir Rahman dropped the catch of David Warner off Mashrafe’s bowling at Trent Bridge, which proved costly as the left-handed batsman went on to score 166. 

But one wicket in seven innings shows that his bowling was not upto the mark at all. 

Mashrafe has bowled 49 overs thus far in seven innings, and gave away 315 runs with an economy rate of 6.42.

The economy rate is good enough, considering the batting-friendly pitches in the United Kingdom, where high scores were expected in just about every game. 

The problem is lack of wickets.  

Mashrafe only completed his 10 overs quota once, and that was against England. 

In the other matches, Mashrafe bowled six overs against South Africa, five against New Zealand, eight against the West Indies, eight against Australia, seven against Afghanistan and five against India Tuesday.    

A lot of expectation was riding on Mashrafe, as statistically, he was one of the top Bangladeshi performers, in terms of taking wickets, in the last couple of years. 

He was in good rhythm prior to the World Cup as even in the opening match of the tri-nation ODI series in Ireland, Mashrafe bowled brilliantly, both in his opening spell and in the slog overs against the Windies, and was adjudged man-of-the-match.

But the 2019 World Cup has been a roller-coaster for the experienced bowler. 

He failed to take wickets and lead the bowling attack. 

And that’s a fact. 

Considering his captaincy, Mashrafe performed well and was impressive in a few matches. 

But as a bowler, he failed and his statistics will prove that. 

One wicket from seven innings is definitely not upto the standard for the senior most bowler in the side, particularly in the biggest stage of the cricket arena, the World Cup.

Bangladesh have already been knocked out from the World Cup. 

They have one game left, against Pakistan at Lord’s Friday. 

Surely it will be the last game for Mashrafe in the World Cup as he has also from T20Is two years ago. 

Mashrafe is not the quickest bowler any more in the last few years. 

But he took a lot of wickets using his experience, tight line and length, and swing, in the recent past. 

Stats show that he was one of the main wicket-takers for the Tigers in the last four years. 

Let’s hope the captain will rise to the occasion and bowl brilliantly in the last game with his cunning ability of taking wickets in crucial stages of the game, which he did with aplomb for the last few years for Bangladesh.