- Shamser Khalid
Bangladesh Cricket Team Enjoys Break in Sylhet
The Bangladesh cricket team may not have had a match on Tuesday, but that didn't mean they were taking it easy. The Tigers were in Sylhet, and with the rain putting a damper on their plans for the second ODI, they decided to take a break from the cricket field and enjoy some recreational activities.
Some members of the team, like Hasan Mahmud, coach Chandika Hathurusingha, and manager Nafees Iqbal, opted for a visit to Shada Pathar in Bholagonj. Others, like Liton Das and Mustafizur Rahman, chose to explore the Ratargul swamp forest, enjoying a serene boat ride and taking in the wonders of nature.
Meanwhile, Afif Hossain made his way to Dhaka, following in the footsteps of his teammate Shakib Al Hasan, who had flown to the city for a commercial engagement.
Despite the disappointment of the second ODI being washed out, the team remained in high spirits. Afif Hossain even spoke about how it would have been good to win the match for his teammate Mushfiqur Rahim, but acknowledged that rain was simply beyond their control.
What Happened in the 2nd ODI
The second one-day international between Bangladesh and Ireland was scheduled to take place in Sylhet, Bangladesh on Monday. However, due to heavy rain, the match was called off after the hosts had posted their highest-ever ODI total. Ireland was unable to begin their innings as the rain persisted. The hosts had scored 349-6 thanks to Mushfiqur Rahim's exceptional century.
His 60-ball ton broke Shakib Al Hasan's record of a 63-ball hundred against Zimbabwe in 2009. In addition to this, Mushfiqur also became the third Bangladeshi player to reach 7,000 ODI runs, following Tamim Iqbal and Shakib. Unfortunately, match officials were forced to call off the game shortly after 8:30 pm (2030 GMT) with no prospect of the weather improving at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium.
As Liton Das had previously stated after the match, the team is making the most of their time together and enjoying themselves. And with the rain continuing to fall, it seems like they have no choice but to keep having fun off the field until the next match.
Duringthe ongoing ODI series, the Bangladesh's cricket team underwent some strategic changes ahead of the World Cup. The team's focus is now on finding the right balance, with a particular emphasis on accelerating the run rate in the middle overs.
The selectors are looking for players who can fulfil specific roles in the batting order and hit a wide range of shots to achieve 300-plus scores.
"We want to see [Afif] get back to his best form that he has shown before," said coach Chandika Hathurusingha.
Despite the pressure on the players, the team is remaining positive and playing with intent. Liton Das, for example, noted that the team is playing cautiously at the top to make room for explosive middle-order batsmen.
"Everyone is batting with intent in the middle overs," he said. "Those that batted had very good intent."
With the World Cup fast approaching, Bangladesh is determined to find the right combination of players and strategies to make a deep run in the tournament.