Inspirational paceman Mashrafe Bin Mortaza made yet another return and it was a good one for the bowler as well as the team. Recovering from the side strain which ruled him out midway through the Asia Cup, the 30-year-old pacer bowled four overs to take two wickets against Ireland in the last warm-up game yesterday which the home side won by 44 runs at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium. His return not only bolstered the Tigers' pace department but also cheered up the home dressing room. And it was the bowler's will power which won the battle against pain yet again.
“I bowled four overs and the pain was there but I'm ready to overcome all the odds to play the tournament (ICC World Twenty20). It needs more time for me to be hundred percent cured but I am ready to give my hundred percent on the field. I am accepting the fact that the pain will be there,” said determined Mashrafe.
“The bowling could be a little better but hopefully it will be a hundred per cent okay when I play the first game (against Afghanistan on March 16),” added the Narail Express, who bowled a good line and length and released some well-directed slower deliveries.
A team-man to the core, Mashrafe was more excited by the team's performance against Ireland, which he believed gave the team the perfect momentum before the opening match against Afghanistan.
“T20 cricket is all about momentum and we gained it by winning today's match convincingly. Our performance was not up to the mark against UAE in spite of the victory, but it was against Ireland. We have gained much-needed confidence before our challenge in the main event,” said a confident Mashrafe.
“On a particular day one team can pull off a wonder but I believe we can achieve our target if we continue the performance we have showed against Ireland today,” he added.
The hosts were under tremendous pressure following after a string of defeats in the New Year in which they squandered winning positions had dented their spirit but two wins in the warm-up games seemed to be the perfect tune-up before the mega event.
Mashrafe, however, kept his feet on the ground. “We have to get the basics right in the main event.”