Tigers display fighting spiritAtif Azam
The Bangladesh national team concluded the two-match Twenty20 international series against Sri Lanka displaying encouraging signs of their fighting ability ahead of the ICC World T20 beginning from March at their own den.
Though the matches were won by the Islanders at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong, the Tigers nevertheless fought bravely before conceding defeat in the last delivery of both the games.
Besides the topic of the much talked-about International Cricket Council ‘position paper’, the Tigers also had to contend with another issue prior to the start of the T20 series after the sudden resignation of Tamim Iqbal from the post of vice-captaincy.
The decision taken by the Bangladesh Cricket Board to appoint Mashrafee bin Murtaza as makeshift captain for the T20 series also threatened to derail the home side’s preparation.
Their reluctance to speak with the media after an injunction issued by the BCB only added fuel to the speculation that had started to gather pace.
Anamul Haque though put an end to all the off-the-field issues after striking his maiden T20 half-century that nearly guided the Tigers home against their mighty Asian neighbours in the first T20.
Although his endeavour went in vain, the conclusion of the match will be remembered for all the wrong reasons after the final delivery, a waist-high full toss bowled by Thisara Perera, appeared to be a no-ball.
More than Anamul’s efforts with the willow, the game reflected an immense improvement on the part of the Tigers, especially the fielding.
Bangladesh managed to grab five catches, among which, three can be considered to be examples of brilliant anticipation and execution. It seemed that the Tigers were coming of age in the field and there was every indication that they wanted to be known as a top fielding side.
The arrival of left-arm spinner Arafat Sunny and his ability to keep cool under pressure was also a positive sign.
Dew played a crucial role in the outcome of the second match as the Tigers could not use their premium left-arm spinner Sakib al Hasan at the death with the visitors requiring nine runs from the last over. Sakib still had two overs left up his sleeve.
One sour note though was the hosts’ batting in the second T20 as one batsman after another departed trying to hoick every delivery out of the ground. An improved batting approach will mean that the Tigers cannot be taken for granted in the upcoming showcase ICC event.
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