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Come on Tigers! Vacation is over!

  • Published at 12:52 am September 26th, 2016
  • Last updated at 02:48 am September 26th, 2016
Come on Tigers! Vacation is over!
Bangladesh managed a narrow escape against the visiting Afghanistan in their first one day international in Mirpur's Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday. The Tigers' performance, especially ground fielding, was well below standard. Bangladesh made a good start batting first even though they lost opening batsman Soumya Sarkar early in their innings. However, the Tamim Iqbal-Imrul Kayes partnership proved to be promising. Later, Mahmudullah chipped in with a vital knock, playing some lovely shots. With that said, both Tamim and Mahmudullah failed to convert their good scores into the magical three figure mark. As a result, Bangladesh's total of 265 was probably 20-25 runs short. If Tamim or Mahmudullah had reached hundred then Bangladesh could have easily crossed the 300-run mark. As it turned out, the Tigers lost their last seven wickets for just 62 runs in 9.2 overs. They will surely be looking to improve this aspect in the latter part of the series. But fielding is the main area where Bangladesh were lagging behind. Kayes dropped a sitter at first slip off only the second ball of the second over. The batsman in question was Mohammad Shahzad and the unfortunate bowler was Taskin Ahmed. Taskin was expensive in his first three overs conceding 28 runs and it was mainly due to the dropped catch of Shahzad. Shahzad later blasted a quickfire 31 off just 21 deliveries. The most number of runs from Shahzad's willow came from Taskin's bowing. He even hit three consecutive boundaries off Taskin. Eventually, he was dismissed by skipper Mashrafe bin Mortaza but by then, Afghanistan managed to put up a brisk opening partnership of 46 in 6.5 overs. Afghanistan also crafted a brilliant partnership for the third wicket. Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi's 144-run partnership was slowly snatching the match away from Bangladesh's grasp. During that time, the Bangladesh fielders were sloppy on several occasions; Shakib's foot touching the boundary rope while chasing the ball, Tamim's hesitant dive while saving a boundary and Sabbir Rahman's fumble in the 30-yard circle were eye-catching to say the least. But when the partnership was broken, another set batsman Shahidi was dropped by Mahmudullah at deep mid wicket. It was a regulation catch for a good fielder like Mahmudullah. If that catch had been taken, Bangladesh could have brought an early end to proceedings. Bangladesh set a benchmark in every department – batting, bowling and fielding - in 2015. They played well in the 2015 World Cup and reached the quarter-finals. They beat Pakistan, India and South Africa comprehensively on home soil. However, Bangladesh have not played an ODI since last November. And following a six-month international break, the Tigers were a bit shaky in the fielding department. But it is prime time to return to the old and high standard again. The vacation is now over for the Tigers. Come on! Roar again.
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