The bowlers are finally facing the heat of Twenty20 cricket in the Chattogam phase of the ongoing sixth Bangladesh Premier League after the batsmen had piled on big scores at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.
Although some high-scoring matches were witnessed in the previous phases in Dhaka and Sylhet, but it started to occur more consistently when the BPL caravan moved to the port-city Chattogram, which offered completely batting-friendly wickets.
In the four matches played in Chattogram so far, most of the teams scored heavily providing the bowlers sometimes a nightmarish experience on a flat wicket, which hardly had anything to offer for them.
Defending champions Rangpur Riders’ star-studded batting line-up made the most of the wicket as they rode on twin hundreds of Alex Hales and Rilee Rossouw to post 239-4 against hosts Chittagong Vikings to rewrote the record of highest team innings in BPL history.
Sylhet Sixers were not too far behind as they made 180-6 and 195-4 against Rajshahi Kings and Khulna Titans respectively, winning both the matches to bring their qualification hopes back on track.
Rajshahi posted their highest ever BPL total 198-5 and Chittagong nearly overtook them by reaching 191-8 in their stipulated overs in the last game on Saturday.
Neither pacers nor spinners of any teams were able to challenge the batsmen together despite some occasional performances that only halted batsmen for a period of time.
‘There is nothing in this wicket for the bowlers,’ Rangpur skipper Mashrafee bin Murtaza told New Age on Sunday.
‘In the second innings of a match, bowlers became ready for the onslaught of the batsmen. In the first innings, some balls might grip. But in the second innings, the wicket is a complete batting paradise,’ he added.
Mashrafee, who took 3-34 in the last match against Chittagong, believed that the success of the bowlers in this wicket would depend on their plans and how they execute it.
‘The success of the bowlers will depend on how they make plans. Without any specific plan, there is no way of bowling well in this wicket. You can’t give the batsmen balls at the hitting zones. You have to avoid short balls also as the batsmen could use the pace from the wicket,’ he added.
Dhaka Dynamites pace bowler Rubel Hossain, however, emphasised more on reading batsman’s mind and using own wit to get success in this wicket.
‘It’s a nice batting wicket. One has to bowl with great cleverness,’ Rubel said.
‘Bowlers should read the batsmen while bowling. There are no doubt batsmen will get favour… Here they will play shots. But bowlers should try to play with the batsmen and bowl in this way,’ he added.
Dhaka’s head coach Khaled Mahmud believed that the length of the bowlers would determine whether they would get success in this type of wicket in Chattogram.
‘In this type of wickets, balls come to bat at a good pace. But I think the variation is key here. Bowlers’ length will decide his success and failure. And same goes to the spinners as well,’ Mahmud told New Age.
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