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Isam
September 26, 2010, 01:05 PM
Chittagong: Success depends on batters
Mohammad Isam

A line-up of Nazimuddin, Gazi Salahuddin, Aftab Ahmed, Faisal Hossain and Mahbubul Karim can be quite a handful for any bowling attack. Add the experienced Nafees Iqbal into the mix and Chittagong's batting looks solid.

Faisal was last year's second highest scorer with 880 runs, Nazimuddin made more than 600, right-handed opener Salahuddin piled 565 while Mahbubul scored 290 runs.

These are big numbers by local standards and this year, they also get Aftab Ahmed for the entire first round while the team can expect big things from Nafees, who had a poor National Cricket League (NCL) campaign last year.

The right-handed batsman played only eleven Test matches with mixed results (reflected through a modest average and a solitary century), but Nafees has 77 first-class games under his belt.

"We have a strong batting line-up but it has to click this year too," said Nafees, who informed that the team has been preparing since last month, though the official training sessions had started only on September 21.

"My preparation is good but it all depends on how I perform once I get in the middle," he said. Nafees also admitted that he doesn't look at his averages when he goes through a dip in form.

Evidently, batting is Chittagong's stronger suit, though last year they had the all-round abilities of Elias Sunny and the rest of the bowling clicked at the right time. But the left-arm spinner was named in the 30-man Dhaka divisional squad along with another Chittagong regular Tareq Aziz.

"We will definitely miss him [Elias Sunny] because he gave us good service last year. We have some left-arm spinners in his place, but still experience counts," said Nafees.

Sources, though, have confirmed that Chittagong are fighting to keep Elias in their side.

Chittagong are set to face Barisal at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra on October 4. They have the added burden of carrying the tag of last year's runners-up.

"We did well last year but we have to hold on to it," said Nafees.

Some may consider this team as an underdog given that it has not become champions since the inaugural edition of the National Cricket League, but last season they came close. Chittagong played against Rajshahi in the final and only lost out after conceding a 71-run first innings deficit. In eight games, they won five, losing twice and drawing only that final game.

They can credit most of those five wins to the massive runs made by Faisal Hossain, the experienced left-handed batsman. He struck two centuries in eight games, averaging 58.66. What also stood out was his strike rate (70.2), more than anyone among the top five batsmen. In addition, the man from Comilla picked up 16 wickets.

The fantastic display eased his inclusion into the Bangladesh team, though that stint was short-lived.

For Chittagong to do well this year, the responsibility would certainly be on Faisal and co. and the quality left-arm pace of Kamrul Islam. But they also have a few youngsters like Irfan Shukkur and Mominul Haque Sourav among them.

Irfan, the wicketkeeper-batsman, played just two matches last year but is touted by Nafees as someone to look forward to. Sourav had a better time, scoring a fifty in five matches and the Cox's Bazar lad too is billed as a big talent.

Last year's position: Runners-up.

Strength: Batting.

Player to watch out for: Mominul Haque Sourav.n

al-Sagar
September 26, 2010, 07:55 PM
Player to watch out for: Mominul Haque Sourav.n

what i have seen of him i am imressed, looks like a new ranatunga.

anyway ISAM bhai can u plz compile up all the 6 FULL SQUADS ???

Habib
September 26, 2010, 09:34 PM
Apnara to vai champion hote parben na. Tar cheye khelata enjoy koren r mejbani khan.

al-Sagar
September 26, 2010, 10:18 PM
Apnara to vai champion hote parben na. Tar cheye khelata enjoy koren r mejbani khan.

chittagong er uchit proti khelar din bikale fan der mejban dite, taile ei chance e amra roj last hour khela deikhe ektu mejban khailam.

Isam
September 27, 2010, 01:36 AM
what i have seen of him i am imressed, looks like a new ranatunga.

anyway ISAM bhai can u plz compile up all the 6 FULL SQUADS ???

none of the squads are out yet and it is delayed because the tournament itself is delayed.

Tiger Manc
September 27, 2010, 08:32 AM
thanks for the article Isam!! I'm looking forward to seeing Faisal Hossain in action this year. I want him to score 5 centuries this year and have the highest average. It's a shame we have a odi series going on whilst the ncl is taking place, we could've done with the services of Tamim. If he can average around 60 with the bat at international level then can you imagine what he would do at domestic level? All the other teams would be crapping their pants when Tamim comes out to bat.

Tiger Manc
September 27, 2010, 08:36 AM
Test status paise!!! Woohooo!! :applause: