Proud to play with him: Mehedi
Young off-spinner Mehedi Hasan was supposed to play the lead role in Bangladesh's three-pronged spin attack against Australia. He was on equal terms with his more illustrious teammate Shakib Al Hasan as their combined effort reduced the Aussies to 144-8 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
Both, with three wickets each, were engaged in a competition to mop up the resolute tail. However, it was premier all-rounder Shakib who excelled and joined an exclusive league of bowlers that have taken five wickets against all the Test playing nations.
Shakib joined the elite club of Sri Lankan spinners Muttiah Muralitharan, Rangana Herath, and South African fast bowler Dale Steyn when he dismissed Patt Cummins and had last batsman Josh Hazlewood caught by Imrul Kayes at short leg, leaving Australia all-out on 217.
It capped off a brilliant day for Shakib after his astounding 84 in Bangladesh's first-innings total of 260 on the opening day. And his achievement excited the youngster Mehedi so much so that he said it was a privilege for him to bowl alongside the best all-rounder in the world.
"Shakib bhai is dominating in all the three formats of the game and it feels good to have someone like him in our country and to get the opportunity to play with him is special. I can't finish talking about him and we all know that there is only one Shakib bhai and I feel good that he is creating many records and I am playing with him. He shares a lot of experiences with us," Mehedi told reporters after the second day's play.
Mehedi, who took the crucial wicket of Australia captain Steven Smith, also finished the day with figures of 3/62 from his 26 overs.
The 19-year-old, who also had David Warner and Matthew Wade, informed that it feels good to dismiss arguably the world's best batsmen however, he also added that there is still a lot of game left and he is looking forward to continuing that.
He, however, credited skipper Mushfiqur Rahim for giving him the advice that outfoxed Smith.
"Mushfiqur bhai told me that if I could bowl around the wicket to Smith, then he will get stuck, he won't be able to play how he wants and he won't be able to use his feet. He likes to go forward and come down the track, so if the ball turns there will be a stumping chance or a catching opportunity. That is what I tried to do, follow Mushfiqur bhai's advice," Miraz revealed at the end of the day.
Mushfiqur's advice turned out to be golden. Shafiul Islam had tied Smith down early in the morning, and Smith tried the trademark shimmy down the wicket to Miraz's round-the-wicket angle. The young off-spinner was alive to the opportunity and fired it in at Smith's dancing toes, which on this occasion worked against the batsman, who was yorked and looked back to see that he was missing his leg bail.