Veteran right-arm pacer Mashrafe bin Mortaza Monday became the most successful Bangladeshi bowler in a List A season. Mashrafe, playing for Abahani Limited in the Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League season 2017-18, took his tally to 38 wickets in a single season. Mashrafe surpassed the previous record, that of left-arm pacer Abu Haider Rony, who had picked up 35 wickets for Gazi Group Cricketers in the Dhaka League last year.
Mashrafe before taking the field for his 15th game in the Dhaka League was only a wicket away from the feat. The Bangladesh ODI captain dismissed Khelaghar Samaj Kalyan Samity opener Robiul Islam Robi in the ninth over of the chase at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka to leapfrog Rony. “I knew I had the chance to play the full season because I am not playing T20Is, and there was no chance of me going to Sri Lanka for the Nidahas Trophy. I did not have the mindset to go for the most wickets in the season or something, rather I wanted to keep myself prepared for the next ODI series (against Afghanistan).
This league was important for me. All is going well as of now,” said Mashrafe to the media in Mirpur Monday. Mashrafe through the latest feat bettered his previous best of 29 wickets in a season, for Abahani in the 2009-10 season. The Dhaka League was only given List A status in 2013 by the ICC for which the previous feat went unrecorded. Mashrafe was quizzed if his success had come owing to his vast experience in the league. “Honestly, it has not made a difference on the field but my self-management has made the difference. It can be from my activities off the field. Diet, running, gym sessions – it’s a result of the combined I think,” Mashrafe explained. Mohammedan Sporting Club Limited pacer Qazi Onik was the closest to compete with Mashrafe. The 19-year old left-arm pacer notched 28 wickets in 11 matches but the run had stopped with Mohammedan failing to qualify for the Super League phase of the tournament. Mashrafe this season registered his maiden five-for in the Dhaka League.
The experienced campaigner also bagged a hat-trick, and four wickets in five deliveries, to become only the eighth bowler in the world to achieve the feat in List A cricket.