Not in a very distant past pace bowling seemed to have a bleak future in Bangladesh but the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League came up with a completely different picture.
In a massive turnaround to the fortune, pace bowlers kept Bangladesh’s flag high in the tournament while local batsmen continued to struggle for their respective teams.
Current national team pacers Taskin Ahmed, Shafiul Islam, Subashis Roy, Mashrafee bin Murtaza all performed decently so far in the tournament but they were not the only pace bowlers to shine.
Unheralded Abu Jayed, Khaled Ahmed drew the attention of fans with their performance while Abu Hider, the highest wicket-taker in 2013 and discarded bowling all-rounder Abul Hassan also reinvented themselves in the tournament.
Taskin, playing for Chittagong Vikings, is the current leading wicket-taker after picking up six wickets in three matches, which included a match-winning 3-31 against Rangpur Riders.
Subashis and Shafiul are also performing neck-and-neck with the local and foreign pacers as both of them claimed four wickets bowling some energetic spells in their respective matches.
Mashrafee, who retired from the international Twnety20s earlier this year, also showed a glimpse of his glorious past with an economy rate of 6.08, though he did not get too many wickets.
Khulna’s Jayed already became the revelation of the tournament picking up 4-35 against Chittagong in their last match after an impressive haul of 2-29 in team’s opening match against Sylhet.
Hider has five wickets so far to his name while Hassan also got same number of wickets.
Hassan brought his batting skill into play in Sylhet Sixers’ final game when he scored an unbeaten 30, which indicated he could provide Mohammad Saifuddin a tough competition for the spot of pace bowling all-rounder in near future.
Playing for Comilla Victorians, Saifuddin produced a match-winning performance against Vikings claiming 3-24. He did not get the chance to complete his bowling quota in the remaining two matches.
Saifuddin’s economy rate stood at 5.66 after three matches, something that was expected to help him overcoming the shock of conceding five sixes in an over in his last Twenty20 international against South Africa.
Pace bowlers bore the brunt of criticism for Bangladesh’s disastrous South Africa tour when the Tigers failed to win a single match in any format.
Earlier pacers also struggled in the ICC Champions Trophy in England while Bangladesh relied heavily on their spinners to draw home Test series against Australia.
The BPL provided pacers a platform to boost their confidence though chief selector Minhajul Abedin was not ready to get too excited after just three matches of the tournament.
‘Till now each team played three matches. I think you can’t judge their performances until the 70 percent of the matches ended,’ said Minhajul on Monday.
‘A player gets few opportunities to perform in Twnty20 format. It is unwise to judge him after seeing him one or two matches. This is a shorter version and things are very difficult here. I think players should give more attentions to perform well,’ he said.
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