Mahedi rallies the troops as batsmen disappoint again | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 16, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:10 AM, October 16, 2020

Mahedi rallies the troops as batsmen disappoint again

The BCB President's Cup may have witnessed the first 200-plus total courtesy of Mahedi Hasan's blistering 57-ball 82, but questions can still be raised regarding a lack of intent from the batsmen yesterday.

Tamim XI posted 221 for nine against Najmul XI following Mahedi's late flourish, recovering from a batting disaster that had reduced them to 108 for seven.

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Coming in at number nine, Mahedi joined Taijul Islam -- who remained unbeaten on 20 provided valuable support -- for a magnificent 115-run ninth-wicket stand.

Mahedi departed in the final over of the innings as he went for a big shot, but it was enough for Tamim XI to post a challenging total in the rain-affected game.

After folding for just 103 in their first game, all eyes were on Tamim XI, who needed a win to keep their hopes of reaching the final of the fifty-over competition alive.

There was talk of rust among cricketers featuring in the three-team tournament, which was understandable given the of seven-month gap in activities. But even that should have been overcome by the time the tournament reached its mid-stages.

Fans were eager to witness the two Tamims opening the innings together -- Tamim Iqbal and Tanzid Hasan Tamim. Although the younger Tamim showed promise in getting 27 in the first game, he departed for eight after his attempt to pull a banged-in delivery from pacer Al Amin Hossain resulted in a simple catch at mid-wicket.

Anamul Haque again showed glimpses of his talent with two beautiful boundaires but the right-hander's tendency to play away from his body cost him dearly. He departed for 12, caught at slip by Soumya Sarkar after going fishing for a length delivery well outside the off stump from Taskin Ahmed.

Although Tamim looked solid at one end, wickets kept tumbling at the other. Mohammad Mithun fell four four and the batsmen did not live up to the expectations of putting high prices on their wickets, which made life easy for the Najmul XI bowlers.

Taskin, Al Amin, Mukidul Islam, Nayeem and leg-spinner Rishad Hossain picked up wickets at regular interval.

Tamim had reached the thirties and looked set but, perhaps due to the mounting pressure from losing partners, fell victim to a classic off-spinner's dismissal. The experienced left-hander, who has suffered failed to cash in on innings in the past despite getting set, was dragged in front by a beautifully flighted delivery from Nayeem and could only manage to edge to slip. He fell for 33.

Like the seniors, Shahadat Hossain walked back after an encouraging 31, while Akbar Ali, who captained Bangadesh's Under-19 World Cup-winning side, failed to make an impact in his first game.

It will be important for batsmen to come up with a better approach or the tournament, which was arranged to bring back competitiveness among cricketers, will continue to miss that spark.

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