Tigers summon more spin

Staff Correspondent

Bangladesh spinner Mosharraf Hossain (R) is seen with team-mates Nasir Hossain (C) and Shafiul Islam during a training session at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Thursday. — New Age photo

Bangladesh on Thursday bolstered their spin attack for the third one-day international against Afghanistan by replacing pace bowler Rubel Hossain with left-arm spinner Mosharraf Hossain in their squad.
The move came as the Tigers felt one spinner short in the second match, which Afghanistan won by two wickets to level the three-match series 1-1.
Bangladesh had nearly defended a meagre total of 208 runs on a slow wicket that offered sharp turn and the ball also kept low at times.
Sakib al Hasan recorded 4-47 while Mosaddek Hossain also troubled Afghan batsmen with 2-30, despite playing only his first match of the career.
Though Taijul Islam could not produce wicket, he was also economical having conceded just 38 runs in his 10 overs.
Apart from skipper Mashrafee bin Murtaza, the two other pacers Taskin Ahmed and Rubel struggled with their line and length and could bowl just 7.4 overs together.
‘We have seen Afghanistan were struggling to play spin bowling in the first two matches. So we’ve decided to include Mosharraf for the third match,’ said chief selector Minhajul Abedin.
Mosharraf’s inclusion as the third left-arm spinner was unsurprising given the player was part of 20-member pool announced by the selectors for the Afghanistan and England earlier this month.
Selectors had called him back from a personal trip to India to add him in the provisional squad following the recommendation of spin bowling coach Venkatapathy Raju, who was impressed with the bowler in High Performance camp.
Mosharraf played last of his three ODIs in 2008 but performed regularly at domestic level.
‘I was waiting for a call like this,’ said an elated Mosharraf. ‘Since the squad was earlier announced for first two matches, I was hoping I would get a chance.’
Moshrraf felt he has now an added responsibility as Afghanistan played Bangladeshi bowlers well in the first two matches.
‘They did really well, so I think I have now an extra responsibility. My target will be taking as much wicket as possible,’ said the 34-year old spinner, who has also some batting in him.
Bangladesh’s lower-order struggled with the bat in both the matches, leaving desperately in need of someone who could wag the tail.
Mosharraf said he was yet to get any plan from the coach but seemed confident about contributing with the bat.
In cricket every one need to have some batting now. Let’s say if you have two or three wickets in hand with seven to eight overs left. It makes things difficult for all. I think if I can contribute in that period it will help the team.

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