ICL: Indian Cricket League


Spin trio help Bangladesh find their World Cup feet

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banglaBangladesh are enjoying a breakthrough World Cup with the unusual support of three left-arm spinners.

The ninth-ranked one-day side have established that they are no longer a team who can be taken lightly after shock victories over India and South Africa.

The seasoned Mohammad Rafique, Abdur Razzak and young all-rounder Saqibul Hasan provide 30 overs of left-arm spin every game that even top batsmen find tough to score off. On Wednesday, England stumbled to a four-wicket victory chasing a modest target of 144 after Razzak and then Rafique grabbed two wickets apiece in quick succession.

Skipper Habibul Bashar is delighted his spinners average five wickets from five games so far other than the 10 and nine-wicket losses against champions Australia and New Zealand.

“It is a bit unusual,” he said on Thursday. “You don’t see three spinners, leave alone three left-arm. (But) We believe that is our strength. It’ll be nice if I have one leg spinner and one off-spinner, it will give more variation,” he explained. “But they are not the same. Razzak bowls with pace, Saqib is slower and Rafique uses his experience to flight and turn the ball,” he expressed.

The tall Razzak has grabbed 12 wickets so far. The 24-year-old is the first to replace the seamers every time. Razzak and Rafique took three wickets apiece to bowl out India for 191 before Saqibul hit a match-winning fifty. “I like to bowl in every tight situation, especially during Powerplay and the slog overs,” Razzak said.

He had Sachin Tendulkar caught behind for a duck and then won the battle against dangerous England batsman Kevin Pietersen on Wednesday to have him caught at mid-wicket for 10. “My biggest moment was Tendulkar’s wicket,” he said. “Pietersen also, he is ranked number one in the world,” he expressed.

Rafique, 36, an integral part of the team since playing in the maiden Test against India in 2000, is also the mentor. “We talk to Rafique all the time,” Razzak said. “I’m more confident when he bowls from the other end. Rafique tells me ‘focus on line and length and understand what the batsman wants you to do and don’t give him that’,” he added.

Saqibul has impressed with the bat since his Bangladesh debut in August. He hit a superb 57 not out against England.

Bashar praised the consistency of his spinners. “The Guyana pitch definitely helped us but otherwise not much,” he said, referring to the South Africa win. “The little bit of help they get, they are using it,” he added. Bangladesh next face debutants Ireland on Sunday (tomorrow) here in Bridgetown.

Source:The News

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This entry was posted on Saturday, April 14th, 2007 and is filed under Cricket.

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