A realisation on pace unit that strikes a chord
Taskin Ahmed's first two deliveries hit a length and while the first went away from the left-handed Vikramjit Singh, the second went away just slightly off the deck from the right-handed Bas de Leede and both deliveries made the batters play and got the nick off the bats. Most importantly, both catches were taken, with Yasir Ali diving forward to take a low catch at slips and wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan diving to his right to take the next one as Netherlands were down to two in two deliveries in chase of 144 made by Bangladesh. The tone had been set, and the fielders had their tails up as Bangladesh made up for any lacking with the bat in the first innings.
The bowling unit held up their end and this time the fielding unit was immense in support of their common cause. The effort and determination went a long way into giving the Tigers a much-needed victory in just the right time -- the very first Super 12 game at this World Cup, defeating Netherlands by 9 runs at the Bellerive Oval yesterday.
"We want to be the best fielding side given we have a young team. We have the belief that we can save 5-10 runs which can make a big difference," skipper Shakib Al Hasan said at the post-match presentations.
Afif Hossain, running all the way from square-leg after Max O'Dowd had placed the ball in the vacant mid-on region and was going for a double, produced a throw so fast that O'Dowd was caught out in the middle during the ensuing confusion and Shakib did the rest, collecting the ball to take the bails off as Netherlands lost their third wicket. One delivery later in the same Shakib over, it was Najmul Hossain Shanto who attacked the ball and stopped it from going for four in the cover region. He quickly got back to his feet following the slide and produced a flat throw with Tom Cooper out of his crease trying to run a three.
Shanto did miss a good chance at point but Hasan Mahmud disturbed Tim Pringle's stumps in the next delivery to ensure the dropped chance did not matter much. Taskin ensured Colin Ackerman's departure to end with career-best figures of four for 25 in T20Is.
Bangladesh have so long put focus on their spin-centredness that fast bowlers were often neglected. The Test matches in recent times showed how crucial pace was to success. Taskin later said the Tests were helpful in his approach from the very first over where he was on a hattrick.
"I stuck to my basics, saw there was movement in the first innings. So, I bowled Test-match lengths," he said. "It's a good win for us and we needed it. We played well as a team, happy to have contributed."
Asked on his work with pace bowling coach Allan Donald, Taskin said working on wrist positions was paying dividends.
"I can move the ball both ways, that was the main focus. I worked on that coming into the World Cup," Taskin added as Bangladesh made the start they were looking for.
"We've found talent, Hasan's new, Taskin's developed well in the past few years. We understand the importance of fast bowling now, across formats," Shakib said at the presentation ceremony as Bangladesh now look to make their fast-bowling department come alive.