Bangladesh limited overs skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza bowled with a cricket ball for the first time in nearly two months yesterday.
The 33-year-old had fractured his right thumb during the final T20I against New Zealand at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on January 8 and has been under rehabilitation ever since.
Prior to yesterday, Mashrafe was asked by the Bangladesh Cricket Board's medical team to practice bowling and catching.
At a nearly-empty BCB National Cricket Academy ground, Mashrafe bowled four overs with the hard ball for the first time and he didn't feel too bad.
“The main problem, isn't there anymore. The way my situation was a few days ago, I thought I would need more time to recover. But then I progressed quite quickly. I have managed to bowl alright today. There is a bit of pain, but that's normal. I will have to play with that pain. I have a bit of a problem with my fitness, I think.
“I bowled three overs without any problem. At the start of the fourth over I had to force myself a bit. So that means I will have to work harder with my trainer. That's not a problem, it will be okay in a few days time,” Mashrafe told reporters at the ground.
“I have tried to control my eating habits outside the ground. I have increased just two kgs. This will decrease in a few days. I am running and working out. But there is a difference between working out on your own and working with a trainer. I will start working with a trainer now and hopefully will get fit quickly.”
With regards to Mashrafe's progress, BCB sports physician Debashish Chowdhury said: “We have asked him to take it slow because the fracture is complex. We will be happy if he recovers completely by the 15th,” said Debashish.