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Indomitable Mustafizz

Published : 05 Jul 2019 08:16 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 02:45 AM

The indomitable Mustafizur turned out to be the star performer again for Bangladesh taking a total of 20 wickets in the World Cup and securing magnificent five wickets in the Bangladesh – Pakistan ICC Cricket World Cup match at the Lords on Friday. The total is now the second highest number of wickets in the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup so far (until Friday, July 5). Mustafiz, the key bowler of the Tigers, is also credited for taking five wickets in two consecutive world cup matches which he shares with G J Gilmour of Australia (in 1975). Mustafiz’s first 5-wickets were taken against India and the second on Friday against Pakistan.

The sensational Mustafiz started taking wickets when Pakistan’s Imam fell to a hit-wicket to give Mustafizur Rahman his first wicket in the game and then Pakistan lost their way from the 42nd over, losing a flurry of wickets. Imad scored 43 amongst the loss of partners as the left-arm cutter Mostafiz demolished his opponents one after the other. He struck twice in the 50th over to complete a five-wicket haul, his second in back-to-back matches -- to go up to second in the top wicket takers' list at this World Cup only behind Mitchell Starc on 24 wickets.

The most spectacular wicket was when Mustafiz took a magnificent catch off his own bowling to remove Shadab Khan. It was a really low catch as Shadab just chipped the cutter straight. Adding to his personal records, Mustafiz also picked up his 100th ODI wicket during the World Cup 2019 match against Pakistan at Lord's in London on Friday.

The left-armer bowled a slower short ball to claim the wicket of Haris Sohail, caught by Soumya Sarkar, to achieve the feat in his 54th ODI for Bangladesh. Among the current players, he joins the elite list that includes Mashrafe Mortaza (265 wickets), Shakib Al Hasan (260), Abdur Razzak (207) and Rubel Hossain (124). Mustafizur is known for bowling cutters and his best bowling performance (6/43) came against India in 2015.

Despite Mustafizur’s heroics, Pakistan, who won the toss, posted a challenging 315 for nine wickets in 50 overs riding on a century by Imam-ul-Haque. Pakistan failed to record an impressive start as opener Fakhar Zaman got dismissed inside the first 10 overs. However, the second wicket stand of Imam and Babar Azam added 157 runs.

While Babar fell for 96, Imam scored his maiden ton in the showpiece event. Riding on their big partnership, Pakistan were looking to cruise to a big total but Saifuddin and Mustafizur took some quick wickets to leave Pakistan struggling in the middle. However, Imad Wasim’s explosive 43 off 26 balls helped Pakistan pass the 300-run mark.

Earlier, winning the toss Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed sent Bangladesh to field first. Mahmudullah Riyad, who has recovered from his injury, and Mehidy Hasan Miraz are back in place of Sabbir Rahman and Rubel Hossain. Pakistan made no changes to their team. After the toss, Mashrafe Mortaza says, “We would've loved to bat first. We've been playing well against Pakistan, but they are starting to take off. Won't be easy. It's my last World Cup match 100%." Sarfaraz Ahmed said, “One chance, we need to score a lot. We know the margin is big, but no changes to our team. The loss against West Indies was disappointing. But we want to finish on a high note."