Under the stewardship of Mashrafe, the team seems to be charged up as ever
It is said that the morning shows the day but the proverb is not always right as Bangladesh Cricket Team’s sun is shining despite having a bleak start in their long tour of the cold, somber British Isles.
Tigers were beaten in the lone practice match against Ireland Wolves, a second-string side of the country, but in the tri-nation ODI series that also features hosts Ireland and West Indies, they are thriving.
West Indies made a blistering start in the tournament beating the hosts by 196 runs after scoring 381 and despite missing some of their key players for Indian Premier League, they were expected to give Bangladesh a tough time.
And they seemed to keep their hot form on against the Tigers as they were looking to pile up a huge score after posting over 200 runs in 40th over with eight wickets in hand.
But like any other strong outfit, the men led by Mashrafe Mortaza made a good comeback as they restricted the opponents for an under-par 260 before their batsmen clinched an easy eight-wicket victory with 30 balls to spare.
Tigers’ confidence was somewhat dampened as their next match against Ireland was washed out but they carried the vigor as they beat the Caribbean side once again when they met and with that, they confirmed the final as West Indies beat Ireland in their second match as well.
With the two wins Bangladesh kept their supremacy against West Indies as they clinched the ODI series at home and away in the space of a few months by an identical margin of 2-1.
Although the mighty side of the 70’s and 80’s is dilapidated but it is still a force to reckon with as they drew 2-2 against the World number 1 side England only a couple of months ago.
These wins are giving the Tigers a huge boost especially ahead of the World Cup and apart from keeping the confidence high by winning, they are also honing their skills in every department which was the major objective of playing this tournament before the big one, World Cup.
Under the stewardship of Mashrafe, the team seemed to be charged up as ever and their bowling, which has raised some question marks in the prior series against New Zealand, seemed to be back in rhythm.
Mustafizur Rahman, who is considered as the main weapon in the pace bowling department, had some torrid time with injuries and despite going for plenty in the first match, he made a great comeback in the second match. He picked up four wickets in his man-of the match performance and in the grander scale of things, achieved an even greater prize - confidence.
Spinners have also done a remarkable job as Shakib al Hasan and Mehidy Hasan Miraz managed to stranglehold opponents on both the matches to reduce them for lowly totals.
Batting was also good as top order batsmen Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib, Mushfiqur Rahim all scored runs and looked fluent with willow.
In the second match, Miraz dropped a sitter off a Mashrafe delivery but that mishap could be treated as an anomaly as Tigers’ catching is otherwise impressive so far, especially the blinder held by Shakib, one of the most senior members of the side, illustrates the matter well.
All-in-all, the Tigers seem to have picked up the tempo at the right time before the big occasion and seem to be ready to deliver big to the 170million people who are dreaming high about the World Cup.