The 35-year old decided not to take part in the practice match prior to the series but he showed vast experience was crucial in the cold and windy atmosphere as he kept immaculate line and length on a difficult surface
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza once again showed why he is the most important asset in the Tigers pace department apart from his charismatic leadership as his bowling prowess helped his side make a comeback during their first ODI of the tri-nation series against West Indies at Clontarf Cricket Ground in Dublin on Tuesday.
The 35-year old decided not to take part in the practice match prior to the series but he showed vast experience was crucial in the cold and windy atmosphere as he kept immaculate line and length on a difficult surface.
With his age and innumerable injuries, his pace may be reduced but he has become ever more potent as far as effectiveness in concerned. He bowled with a short run up even in the domestic league for champion Dhaka Abahani but proved himself the most lethal bowler in the recently concluded Dhaka Premier League.
He kept the same rhythm in the international arena and the most successful pacer in Bangladesh history once again showed he comes back even stronger with criticisms.
A few critics have questioned about his performance after joining politics in recent time. But he has proved he has enough skill and ability to keep the two things separate and have the mindset to keep full focus when take on field.
He knows his limitations and strength and like any other maestro, he utilizes the latter and keeps a check on the former to achieve success in the highest arena.
On Tuesday, West Indies were cruising with in-form opener Shai Hope scoring another century. Bangladesh spinners could rein in the acceleration yet it seemed Windies were heading well beyond 300-run mark and Hope and Roston Chase was batting comfortably.
Even Mustafizur Rahman, Masharafe’s pace bowling partner looked docile and proved to be very expensive. To make matters worse, Mahmudullah, who is often summoned to break partnerships, was not fit to bowl. But Mashrafe, for the umpteenth time in his long career, decided to take a step himself and wreaked havoc.
He got rid of both Hope and Chase, and his counterpart Jason Holder, who is a dangerous batsman in the late order, to halt Windies’ progress.
Mashrafe removed Chase in the 41st over and then Hope and Holder in the 43rd over. And from 205 for 2, West Indies were suddenly 211 for five, thanks to Mashrafe’s brilliant spell.
In the end, West Indies fell well short of 300 as they finished on 261/9. Bangladesh have a real chance of chasing down what looked like a under-par total and whoever becomes the hero after the match, the old gladiator Mashrafe once again proved why he is still the most cherished player to resurrect the Tigers from dire straits. He is still the most important member of this side.