Tigers were defending a below par score of 239 yesterday and after Shakib Al Hasan’s injury relapse forced him out of the Asia Cup tournament, they were left with only four frontline bowlers. Mushfiqur Rahim admitted that while they took a bit of a risk, the part time bowlers did an outstanding job and supported the excellent start with ball from Mustafizur Rahman, which helped the Tigers defend their total in a crunch match.
“The score wasn’t par but it was a competitive score. But the boys really stuck to the basics and the bowlers did a great job. Mustafizur, especially, bowled really well. He is a champion, we all know that. But the more consistent he is the better for our team. I think credit goes to the other bowlers as well – Mehedi and Riyad bhai.,” Mushfiqur said.
Tigers were at a risk of leaking crucial runs in the 10 overs that were bowled by the part-time bowlers. They had initially planned to bowl Mominul Haque along with Soumya Sarkar and Mahmudullah Riyad – all part-time bowlers, hoping they would not go for many runs and make things easy for Pakistan. As it happened, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and Rubel Hossain did not complete their full quota of overs, with Mashrafe sustaining damage to his fingers while taking a blinding catch at midwicket. Mominul did not have to bowl as Riyad and Soumya bowled excellently, with Riyad taking Pakistan’s mainstay Imam Ul Haq’s prized scalp.
“To be honest, we took a bit of risk in today’s match. We had four genuine bowlers and we had a plan to bowl Mominul, Riyad bhai and Soumya for the other 10 overs. So it was outstanding.
“When there are fewer bowlers, the bowlers do a bit of extra thinking along the lines of ‘today I must try to bowl 10 overs, keep the run rate in check and provide a wicket.’ It’s an extra responsibility and they [part-timers] would also try to be up there with the specialists.
The part timers supported the main cast and did an outstanding job to defend 239. Riyad went for just 38 runs and bowled 10 overs while Soumya too conceded just 19 in his five overs.
“Part-time bowlers were outstanding. Even Soumya, the good balls he bowled really helped because Mashrafe bhai had some pain in his finger and he might not have bowled later, for which we may have struggled. Overall, outstanding effort by the bowlers and fielders,” Mushfiqur said.