Super-Tamim's super return
Darren Bravo was making a comeback to the West Indies side after two years. Tamim Iqbal was playing his first match for Bangladesh after nearly three months since fracturing his left knuckle in the Asia Cup and he won the comeback battle hands down. In the 21st over, Bravo tried to hit Mashrafe Bin Mortaza for a six over long off but was deceived by the slower ball. The miscue was flying just beyond the 30-yard circle. The moment the ball hit bat, Tamim started his sprint from long off and having crossed 20 yards in no time put in a full-length dive to pluck the ball inches from the turf. He got up and turned to the crowd and the dressing room with arms spread, as if to ask 'Did you miss me?' and they roared back in the affirmative.
Bangladesh's catching, unlike their bowling, was not up to scratch yesterday. Rubel Hossain had two catches of Darren Bravo dropped off his bowling, but he was the culprit when a simple chance came his way off the bat of Rovman Powell in the 32nd over. Powell swiped across the line against Shakib Al Hasan and the ball ballooned to mid on where Rubel dropped a sitter. As the batsmen crossed over, Shakib, grabbed hold of Powell and shook him in mock frustration. West Indies were already in trouble on 111 for four; otherwise the frustration could have been very real and directed elsewhere.
In the same boat
Mashrafe's looming involvement in politics -- he will contest the upcoming general elections for Awami League -- has added a new dimension to cricket at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. Shakib Al Hasan had also considered running in the elections as a nominee of the ruling party, which has 'nouka' (boat) as its election symbol, before deciding against it at the behest of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Yesterday, during the first ODI against West Indies, Shakib ended bowling the 36th over and skipper Mashrafe brought himself on in the 37th. That is exactly when a chant of 'nouka, nouka' started in the Eastern stands, and when Mashrafe got rid of West Indies captain Rovman Powell off the first ball, the chant spread around the ground. In a country that is politically quite divided, this was yet another example of the uniting power of cricket.