It was nice to see the way the pace bowlers executed their plans so far in the Bangabandhu T20 Cup at a familiar Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. Left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman got his mojo back, which definitely gave the national team management some relief, while performances like those from young Shoriful Islam have provided hope.
But, two thrillers on the opening day notwithstanding, the tournament has yet to conjure real excitement as batsmen have been struggling to come up with big knocks. So, when the action resume today after a day's break with Dhaka taking on Barishal and Chattogram meeting Rajshahi, everybody will be hoping to see some sparkling knocks and high-scoring matches.
Performances, especially from senior batsmen like Mahmudullah Riyad, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Tamim Iqbal, have also been below expectation.
Ace all-rounder Shakib continued his poor run of form with the bat while players like Tamim, Riyad and Mushfiqur made headway on a few occasions but failed to cash in and their innings sometimes lacked the spark.
However, Chattogram coach Mohammad Salahuddin said it was not easy for batsmen to go for the kill on the Mirpur surface. "The wicket on the first day was fantastic for batting. But since it has been a bit two-paced so it's really tough to bat as the ball gets older. On the other hand, I think the players are yet to get back to full rhythm after such a long break. I am sure batsmen will get runs very soon."
Salahuddin also echoed Tamim's sentiments, saying that he too believed it was a crime for a batsman to give away their wicket after getting set.
After his side succumbed to their second defeat, a 10-run loss against Chattogram, the Fortune Barishal captain had told the reporters: "I think getting out for 20-30 runs is a crime, especially in T20. We have played enough deliveries to understand the wicket. As I said, it wasn't the best wicket to bat on but I think either Afif or I should have finished the match. We are the experienced ones and should have taken the responsibility of winning the match,"
Young batsman Towhid Hridoy warned yesterday that batsmen had already formed an idea of what they need to do on this wicket.
"Everyone expects that a batsman will contribute with an innings of 60, 70 or 80 runs. I think we already have an idea of the situations and what we need to do in the day matches and what we need to do in the night matches."