The opening duo of Liton Das and Tamim Iqbal scored 102 runs for Bangladesh in the last year, which was the best stand scored by a Bangladeshi opening pair in that time period. Youngster Tanzid Hasan and the formidable Liton finally found the runs they needed under their belts ahead of a significant tournament during the first warm-up fixture against Sri Lanka in Guwahati yesterday. Tamim was not included in the World Cup squad, and there are ongoing form concerns of openers ahead of the World Cup. Despite these concerns, the World Cup squad was announced.
Over the course of the previous ten one-day internationals, the opening partnerships for Bangladesh have scored only a hair over 20 runs on average. Yesterday, when attempting to catch up to the Sri Lankans’ score of 263, the two openers put together a run partnership that was the highest in the last two years at 131 runs.
The manner in which the two openers started with calmness mirrored the confidence that the team management had projected on them, notably via Tanzid’s selection. Mehedi Hasan Miraz, a makeshift opener, was the sole backup at the time.
The previous year had been difficult for Liton, as seen by their One-Day International batting average of little over 24 over 20 games.
Both of the opening batsmen started the chase off by keeping their composure and playing within themselves. Perhaps they were taking a lesson from the way the Sri Lankan openers had started the previous innings. The left-right combo maintained their organisation despite the fact that there was not much movement available for the bowlers.
Both Liton and Kasun Rajitha shown the ability to let the ball come to them, with Liton demonstrating this quality to a particularly successful degree. Liton was able to put away deliveries on his legs and even waited for movement before flicking Kasun Rajitha for four goals. To get things started, Tanzid sliced one through the off-side, and then he came up with a controlled pull that resulted in another four points. Once he was in position, it seemed as if he would have plenty of time to pull Lahiru Kumara for four.
As soon as Liton got the ball rolling, his trademark strokeplay materialised, and he blasted a spinner over extra cover for four runs. This seems to calm him down, and despite some inconsistent limits, he was able to hit his fifty in just 39 deliveries. Liton was out after scoring 61 off 56 balls, which included 10 fours.
Although Tanzid finished with an 88-ball score, which was below his expectations, he will attempt to transfer the energy he gained into the main competition of the event.
Miraz scored 67 runs off of 64 balls, while Mushfiqur Rahim remained unbeaten on 35 during an unbroken 76-run partnership that led Bangladesh to a victory by seven wickets with eight overs to spare. Tawhid Hridoy was out for a duck during the match.
Even though Shakib Al Hasan did not play in the match, he had great expectations for the opening pair.
During a recent exclusive interview with T Sports, Shakib had said, “I would expect just one thing from them [Liton and Tanzid], which is that on the day that they get a start, they win the match,”
The skipper and team management have kept the instructions simple for the opening pair, and with some momentum, the top-order would also find some respite if both openers continue on with some consistency if they are able to maintain some consistency in their play.