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Decision to open with Miraz pays off

  • Published at 10:23 pm September 28th, 2018
Mehidy Hasan

The gamble worked wonders as the duo posted 120 runs for the opening stand – a herculean effort compared to what the openers had done in the rest of the tournament

Bangladesh have been dishing out full of surprises throughout their journey in the Asia Cup. 

From opener Tamim Iqbal going out to bat one handed, to the BCB bringing in two openers from home overnight and sending opener Imrul Kayes to bat at number six and reaping rewards from that decision have all been out-of-the-box actions made by the Tigers. 

Going into the final against India, Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza had hinted of another surprise but no one had anticipated this – sending youngster Mehedi Hasan Miraz in to open with wicketkeeper-batsman Liton Das.

A finger injury picked up in Bangladesh’s opening game of the tournament had thrown Tamim out of it and that started the struggle to find an adequate replacement. 

In the five matches before the final, Liton and the left-handed Nazmul Hossain Shanto’s 16 against Afghanistan in the Super Four game was the highest for the Bangladesh openers. 

The Tigers were desperately looking for a way to break the jinx and it had come with Miraz. 

This was as surprising as sending Imrul in to bat as a middle-order batsman.

“Look, in this tournament we surprised ourselves and you folks as well. There were different players at different times in different positions. Anyway, it was more to do with being a victim of circumstance. With Shakib [al Hasan] not there, you might see someone (yesterday) who has never opened. We are prepared for everything and I am also asking you to be prepared,” Mashrafe had said to the media laughing Thursday.

The gamble worked wonders as the duo posted 120 runs for the opening stand – a herculean effort compared to what the openers had done in the rest of the tournament. 

The stand was Bangladesh’s highest opening wicket partnership against India in the format.

Liton was the aggressor in the partnership, smashing 86 off 66 balls, and registering his maiden ODI half-century. 

Nightwatchman Miraz played the role of the anchor on one end and added 32 before getting out in the 21st over, giving India their crucial first wicket in the game.