What is Hurting Durdanto Dhaka?

Durdanto Dhaka’s head coach Khaled Mahmud body language says it all. He was certainly not enjoying the batting performance of his own team and he had all the reasons behind it. The opening pair of Siam Ayub and Naeem Sheikh fetched them 75 runs but eventually they ended up making 130-9 and that was certainly not enough for strong batting line-up of Khulna and they did not lose any wicket to topple that runs in 14.4 overs.

The opening pair looked solid as one was batting with caution while the other was running after scoring quick runs and one among the duo was expected to stay till the last but they complicated the normal thing and that too for their own mistake. As the two left-handed openers were at the crease, Khulna’s captain was bowling off-spinner Afif Hossain from one end. 17 runs came from the first 5 balls of Afif’s over in the ninth over of the innings. After hitting extra cover and two sixes over the bowler’s head in the third and fourth balls of the over, Naeem hit a four in the fifth ball. The left-handed batsman created danger when he hit Afif Hossain for another six in the last ball of the over. Not a six this time, Naeem is caught by Evin Lewis at extra cover.

Naeem, who scored 41 runs in 21 balls with 2 fours and 4 sixes, just did not got out  but it made Dhaka pay heavily as their innings collapsed. Pakistani opener Ayub departed in the next over. The Pakistan national team batsman scored 35 runs off 37 balls after being caught by Anamul Haque behind the wicket against Shanaka and following that dismissal Durdanto quickly lost seven more wickets and became 114/9 in the 17th over. Dhaka was not all out courtesy of the last two batsmen Arafat Sunny and Shariful Islam. The two added 16 runs from the last 20 balls. Shariful, however, scored only 1 run in 7 balls. Sunny scored 15 runs off 14 balls.

You can understand the story by looking at Dhaka’s score. The fifth and sixth choices of Khulna’s bowling attack, Afif Hossain and Dasun Shanaka opened the doors of Dhaka’s batting order. The two openers from Dhaka tried to score quick runs against both of them. Although the idea was right, the two could not implement it. But there was also an opportunity to correct mistakes before major damage was done.

And that responsibility belonged to Mosaddek Hossain. The 28-year-old cricketer is unable to do so this season. He is supposed to be one of Dhaka major batsman in the middle order. But so far in four matches his runs are 1*, 0, 15, 0. 

Mosaddek himself looked disappointed as he hardly had any words to explain their condition. 

“You see, starting from one down, those of us who batted down, including myself, the time is going so badly, there is no explanation. Of course everyone is trying, we can only hope to do well in the upcoming matches,” said Mossadek adding that the team’s batting as a whole is shameful.

 ‘I have no explanation. It’s a shame. After such a start we all expected a 180. It’s disappointing to be all out for 50 runs from that spot,” he said.

Khaled is disappointed too as the local cricketers are failing to deliver.

“There is no alternative to the performance of our local players. Why do we have tournaments? When the boys go to our T20 team, it can be sorted. If some guys miss the opportunity, it’s not a good sign. For them this is an opportunity to get a place in the national team. I would like our Bangladeshis to take the opportunity. It will be useful for their future,” said Mahmud.

Unfortunately for Dhaka, they do not have foreign power like other parties. Today, Dhaka played Afghanistan’s Gulbadin Naib at number three. Who is basically a T20 finisher and question can be raised whether it was a wise decision to put him into bat in the ninth over of the innings. Australian Alex Ross has maintained his Big Bash rhythm in the BPL but his innings is not getting bigger either. Due to the failure of Mossadek and Irfan, the Australian is not even getting a partner to form a pair. As long as he stays at the crease in the middle overs, he has to fight alone.

There is no such foreign cricketer on Dhaka’s bench. It is not certain whether someone will be fired again.

However, to survive in the tournament’s playoffs, Dhaka must quickly return to the winning streak. With only 1 win in four matches, Dhaka is now sixth in the points table. The franchise will play their fifth match in the league against Sylhet Strikers on February 2 at noon and they need to make sure they are back in business against a demoralized Strikers side, who are at the bottom of the points table.


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