Bowling offers Ashraful the last straw

February 27, 2011

Embatt-led former skipper Mohammad Ashraful has planned to pay more attention to his bowling in order to retain his place in the Bangladesh’s starting line-up.
Ashraful, making a comeback in the playing XI after four one-day internationals, put in another miserable batting performance having been dismissed for just one run in Friday’s nerve-wracking win over Ireland.
When he was returning to the dressing room after playing a suicidal sweep shot minutes after he came on to the crease, many at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium was planning to write the epitaph of his international career.
But Ashraful earned himself a new lease of life with the ball taking two vital wickets which helped Bangladesh win the game by 27 runs defending a small total of 205 runs. After clean bowling Andrew White for his second wicket Ashraful celebrated in a manner as if it alone won Bangladesh the match.
But anyone aware of Ashraful’s situation knew the celebration had more to do with his personal cause and one just cannot blame him for it.
‘I am happy to make some contribution to the team,’ Ashraful told New Age on Sunday. ‘I think it is necessary to have more than one skill as it makes you a smarter player and ultimately the team gets benefitted,’ said Ashraful.
Ashraful bowled nine overs in the match and seven of them were more than ordinary bowling.  If he did not receive some brutal hittings in his last two overs, his bowling figures would have been more impressive than it was finally – 2-42.
In his 165-match career, the maximum by a Bangladeshi, Ashraful bowled nine overs only once previously and that too way back in 2002 against West Indies in Chittagong.
Ashraful admitted he was nervous when he was asked to bowl but after he got his first wicket he started to gain confidence in his ability.
I would be lying if I say I was not nervous. After getting the first wicket my confidence level got higher,’ Ashraful said.
He also admitted that he was not expecting a second spell but thanked his skipper Sakib al Hasan for keeping his confidence in him
‘I thought I would not be brought back again after my first spell. I thank Sakib for keeping faith in me’ said Ashraful.
He, however, did not make any excuse for his dismal batting, an area he is so good at being consistently inconsistent.
‘I was a bit rusty in my shot selection. The wicket was slow and low and I should have been more watchful,’ said Asharful.
‘It’s true I am disappointed but I am sure I can make some contribution with the bat too if I get a few more chances,’ he said.


Courtesy of New Age

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