Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza has never been one to stand on ceremony. During the first drinks interval of yesterday's match between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, the 100th ODI at Bangladesh's 'home of cricket', it did not matter that the BCB did not invite the home team to its own party. Mashrafe went out to the boundary and took a selfie with Abdul Motin, Mirpur's oldest groundsman who was present during the first match in 2006, and posted it on his Facebook with the caption: "More than a Tamim, Shakib century, Motin bhai's century today is a joyful one. Congratulations, Motin bhai... we await 200 at the Sher-e-Bangla".
SLOW OUT OF THE HAND, SLOWER OFF THE BAT
Batsmen visiting Asela Gunaratne's ESPNCricinfo page before a match will be in for a rude -- albeit unthreatening -- shock if they placed much store on the categorisation of the Sri Lankan's bowling as medium-fast. His longish run-up adds to the deception. Against Zimbabwe yesterday, he prised out three wickets, and on each occasion the batsmen were flummoxed by how long the ball took to get to them. Hamilton Masakada was caught at mid-off when trying to hit him out of the ground. He was especially frustrating in the slog overs, with Malcolm Waller's eyes lighting up when he got a full toss from the medium-fast bowler and, even after waiting, seemed to hit it early straight down deep square leg's throat. Peter Moor, meanwhile, could not even get it past the infield as he holed out at cover.
RAZA HERE, RAZA THERE, RAZA EVERYWHERE
Zimbabwe batsman Sikandar Raza was the lone man standing with a half-century in their dismal showing against Bangladesh in the tri-series opener on Monday, but yesterday he went one better. His unbeaten 81 made sure that Zimbabwe reached a match-winning total after Masakadza hit 73 at the top. As important, however, was Raza's contribution during Zimbabwe's defence of 290. Opener Kusal Perera and skipper Angelo Mathews were threatening to run away with the chase as their third-wicket partnership swelled to 85, but Raza had Perera caught off a sweep at short fine leg for 80. He then took a diving catch at short midwicket to send the captain packing. Later, when Thisara Perera was going great guns and on the cusp of pulling off a backs-to-the-wall victory, he top edged a Tendai Chatara full toss. Who settled under the catch? You guessed it.
ALMOST EAGLE-EYED, BUT NOT REALLY
Tailender Akila Dananjaya was holding firm as Thisara Perera destroyed the bowling, until the 45th over, when he holed out off Chatara. Perera however asked him to wait as the umpires checked the no-ball. Replays showed Perera watching the crease like a hawk at the non-striker's end as Chatara's front foot landed. It was close, but the heel landed millimetres behind the line. Perera was next out when he was caught off a full toss and for a while he lingered, hoping it was above the waist. He walked off eventually, his vision serving him well in that instance.