Bangladesh was going along as usual losing both the openers under ten overs, the responsible youngster Rajin Saleh as well as the vice captain and the captain Habibul Bashar were rebuilding. As usual, at the time when both the set batsman were trying to increase the run-rate, they including most of the other batsman threw their wickets away in the process, for the cause of the team.
Then came in Mohammad Ashraful, an inform player, but RELAXED; and played shots that I have never seen him play. Those cheeky fours and the usual tucks around the corner were great to see.
It was not only great to see that Dav may have finally found somebody who can score at a higher pace, but also (great to see) that it was done briliantly for the cause of the team.
I believe that Ashraful's 3rd ODI fifty is the fastest fifty by any Bangladeshi in One Day Internationals. Ofcourse, I have to check whether the former captain Akram Khan had scores of fifty in less than 32 balls or not. However, Akram Khan is a part of the history now, and Ashraful is a current national player with at least ten years in front of him.
However, having said that, it was not possible for Ashraful to play so freely if Habibul Bashar and Rajin Saleh had not recorded a hundred run partnership between them, and thus allowed Mohammad Ashraful to come in at number six and also in the 40th over.
The story of Whatmore's finding a player that he had been looking for, is somewhat tragic as well as wonderful; if Bangladesh manage to win an ODI either today or within this year. During the last Pakistan tour (yes, again the memory of the last Pakistan tour comes into the minds) Whatmore had deliberately asked some of his players like Tushar Imran and Mushfiqur Rahman to come and increase the run rate as hard as they can. But all of them were failing as soon as they were trying to score quickly.
Even in this match, Mohammad Rafique, who is known to be a big hitter in fifty over matches, was sent earlier than Ashraful at number five, as Bangladesh's run rate was around 3.5 at that stage after around 35 overs.
Little did he know, of Ashraful's intentions.
May be on another day, Ashraful will try to play like he did today, and get out just like during the test series, but at least he deserves all the credit that he can get, for today.