Fizz regains faith with five-wicket haul

July 3, 2019

Mustafizur Rahman grabbed his first five-wicket haul in four years to help Bangladesh fight their way back into the contest in their vital World Cup match against India in Birmingham on Tuesday.
The Fizz could not have done it at a better time with Bangladesh’s World Cup hopes hanging by a thread after one costly dropped catch gave India a flying start in the contest.
Tamim Iqbal dropped a sitter off Mustafiz’s bowling at midwicket early in the innings to give Rohit Sharma a life on nine and the Indian opener made the most of it by smashing his fourth century in the World Cup.
Sharma’s 104 off 94 balls threatened to take the game beyond Bangladesh’s control before Mustafiz revived some hope with 5-59, his maiden five-wicket haul in the World Cup and fourth in his career.
Bangladesh had part-time seamer Soumya Sarkar to thank for providing them a breakthrough as he ended Sharma’s innings and India’s 180-run opening stand in the 30th over of the innings.
Rubel Hossain, playing his second match, scalped other opener Lokesh Rahul for 77 runs before Mustafiz took the matter in his own hands with a double-wicket maiden in his sixth over.
Mustafiz tempted Virat Kohli to play a pull shot straight into the hands of Rubel at deep square-leg just when the Indian skipper looked set to launch the his side’s final onslaught.
Kohli fell for 26 off 27 balls and two balls later it was the turn of Hardik Pandya, who poked the ball into the slip to suffer a duck.
Mustafiz made a similar double breakthrough against West Indies when he dismissed Shimron Hetmeyer and Andre Russell in one over to force the opponents move into slow gear.
He had support from Mohammad Saifuddin in West Indies game while Sakib al Hasan played a similar role this time to get rid of dangerous-looking Rishabh Pant for 48 off 41 balls.
India still had a chance to pull the trigger with Dinesh Karthik and MS Dhoni at the crease, but Mustafiz ensured there was no late blitzkrieg from the World Cup hopefuls.
He took a top-edge from Karthik to get the India’s World Cup debutant for eight and dismissed Dhoni in almost identical manner in his final over to deny India an imposing total.
Mustafiz bowled Mohammad Shami in the last ball of the innings to complete his five-wicket haul, his first since taking 5-34 against Zimbabwe in Dhaka in 2015 as India ended their 50 overs with 314-9.
Mustafiz began his career with back-to-back five-wicket hauls against India in 2015 but was restricted to mediocrity in the following years as he became somewhat predictable to the batsmen.
His inability to raise his pace and get swing with the new ball reduced his number of wickets but Mustafiz showed he still carried the X-factor that no other Bangladeshi bowler can boast of.
He bowled mostly in death overs in this World Cup which made his economy look poorer than it deserved but Mustafiz at least continued to give Bangladesh some wickets regularly.
His five-wicket haul in Edgbaston took his tally to 15 in this World Cup, the highest by a Bangladeshi bowler in a single World Cup, overtaking Abdur Razzak’s 13 in 2007.
This may not prove enough to keep them in the World Cup but should be good enough to return the faith on the ability of their best limited-over bowler for years.

-With New Age input

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