• Friday, Jul 10, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:38 am

Bangladesh batsmen’s struggles in middle overs exposed

  • Published at 10:54 pm November 8th, 2019
Bangladesh players celebrate the fall of an Indian wicket during their second T20I in Rajkot Thursday AFP

Bangladesh cricket team reached Nagpur Friday, ahead of the third and final T20I of the series, scheduled to be held Sunday

Despite a good start from the top order, the Bangladesh batsmen lost the plot in the middle overs and failed to set a challenging target for India in the second match of the T20I series between the sides Thursday.

The pitch at Saurashtra Cricket Association in Rajkot was offering good assistance to the batsmen. 

The ball was coming onto the bat nicely and the outfield was fast, as it is on most Indian grounds. 

Bangladesh openers Liton Kumar Das and Mohammad Naim put on a quick-fire 60 on the board at the start of the innings, with Naim even striking three consecutive boundaries against Indian pacer Khaleel Ahmed in the second over. 

The Indian fielders appeared to be feeling the pressure after their loss in the first T20I of the series at Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi Sunday, with a number of fumbles in the opening of the second match. 

At one point, a bizarre mistake by Indian wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant gave Liton a second life, when the batsman should have been the victim of an easy stumping. 

Bangladesh finished the first powerplay of six overs on 54 for no loss. 

However, the Bangladesh innings began to unravel as soon as Liton got out.

The match turned completely on its head in the 13th over, when Bangladesh lost Mushfiqur Rahim (four) on the first ball and Soumya Sarkar (30) on the last. 

Indian spinners Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar and Krunal Pandya did well to stem the flow of runs in the middle overs, and Bangladesh lost a good chance to score 180-plus on a batting paradise. 

Acting captain Mahmudullah scored some runs from overs 15-18, but the team only managed 17 off the last 18 deliveries of the innings after he got out.

Bangladesh are currently fielding Afif Hossain and Mosaddek Hossain in the Nos 6 and 7 batting positions, which are usually reserved for hard-hitters in the limited overs formats. 

However, both the batsmen are known to be good timers of the ball rather than sloggers.

Afif has only just come into the team and played the seventh match of his international career, but Mosaddek made his T20I debut three years ago. 

In his 14-match T20I career, Mosaddek has scored 183 runs off 173 deliveries, amounting to a strike rate of 105.78. 

For a slogger in the shortest format, this is certainly not quick enough.

Mosaddek does have the ability to play big shots, as evidenced by his match-winning 52 runs off 27 balls in a shortened-ODI against the West Indies in Ireland in May this year. 

However, he needs to be putting in such explosive performances more frequently in order to become a T20I asset for the team. 

If Bangladesh wishes to stick with Afif and Mosaddek in the final T20I of the series, both of them need to improve their strike rates. 

Quick runs in the final overs tend to be crucial in T20 cricket, and Bangladesh has long been unable to find good sloggers for the tail-end of the batting innings.

Tigers reach Nagpur

Bangladesh cricket team reached Nagpur Friday, ahead of the third and final T20I of the series, scheduled to be held Sunday.

The series decider will begin at 7:30pm, Bangladesh standard time.

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