No Shakib-Tamim Blockbuster, a Day For Khaled And Nahidul   

Even before start of the Bangladesh Premier League, country’s lone franchise-based T20 tournament, fans were waiting for this day.  Shakib al Hasan of Rangpur Riders will be facing Fortune Barisal’s Tamim Iqbal at home of cricket in their opening game of the tournament. Both of them were fighting with respective injuries and were looking forward to make a comeback to competitive cricket with this game. It was exciting and coupled by the fact the distant relationship that the duo shared that came out in public in the recent it had all the ingredients to be blockbuster if not anything else and fans were eagerly waiting to be part of it at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Sunday.

In these kind of games wicket plays a very crucial part and head curator Gamini De Silva left no stone unturned to prepare it as per the expectation considering there was some grass and the hard wicket and commentator Russell Arnold during his pitch report indicate big score is a possibility though pace bowler Khaled Ahmed had other ideas as the Barisal pacer picked up two wickets apiece with new and old ball to make sure that Riders don’t pile up huge score in the middle. Barisal made a dream start on the back of the Test bowler’s brilliance as they managed to restrict Rangpur for 134 runs and won the game by five wickets with five balls in hand.

It seemed the BPL was a platform where Khaled would showcase his skill to take the label of Test bowler out of his and he managed to do that with utmost precision.

“Anyone can be player of any format,” Tamim said regarding Khaled, who just was too hot to handle for Shakib as he failed to negotiate his in swing delivery

Tamim added that he is expecting Khaled to have lot of chances in the BPL to prove his mettle in the shorter format. 

If Khaled starred in the opening game, Khulna Tigers Nahidul Islam hogged the spotlight in the second game. Defending champions Comilla Victorians neither retained Nahidul nor went for him in the auction table and if Nahidul performance is taken into consideration it seemed that was a big mistake if not anything else. Nahidul just gave away 12 runs in four overs along with picking four wickets to lay the platform for his new team to earn a comfortable four wicket win in the end.

 Off-spinner Nahidul explained his bowling philosophy during the post match press conference. 

“I always try to bowl stump-to-stump with the new ball so that batters cannot play me easily but to be honest bowling with new ball is tough and I am trying to make it simple( bowling with new ball) during the five to seven years. In every match it cannot be executed and probably today was my day and everything I tried went for me,” said Nahidul adding that he is well aware nothing is granted considering they have another new ball specialist in left-arm spinner in their squad.

“Who will bowl when depends on the situation because there is right hander and left-hander and you have to take that into consideration,” he said.

“Nasum is an experienced bowler and he represents the national team and have a role in the team while I also have a role with all my shortcomings. I am assigned for certain roles and I try to seize the opportunity,” he said.

Opportunity is something that Nasum gets more often than Nahidul considering being a national star the left-arm spinners have the chance to play shorter version cricket round the year while Nahidul have to wait for his chances in tournament like BPL and it certainly is not ideal.

“As there are no matched but still I will have to play  and so I prepare myself mentally so that when the chance come I can grab it and it times it goes my way and at times it doesn’t as per my planning and execution,” said Nahidul.

Ahead of the BPL there was a talk regarding hosting another shorter-version cricket to help the local cricketers get the platform to adjust with the tempo of T20 cricket.

“It ( another T20 tournament before BPL) is being said for a long time  but I am not aware how our calendar is prepared and if there is such option in that case we might get it and it will be good for us as we want to play as much as we can,” added Nahidul.   

However, reality is different and Nahidul and Khaled will have to shine in limited that is destined for them and they did it in style and that too on their own terms.


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