After his hundred against Australia – off as many balls – not many would have predicted another in succession by Mohammad Ashraful today. But look how close he has come:
Mohammad Ashraful b Collingwood 94 (52b 11×4 3×6)
A magnificent knock, from just 52 balls. Early on in his innings, the Bangladeshi commentator said what a “wonderful cameo” it was: my thoughts were “yes – good cameo, but Bangladeshi cricket needs more than the odd cameo.” He, Aftab Ahmed and, to a lesser extent Mashrafe Mortaza, have been genuine shining lights for Bangladesh in this tour. Ashraful’s innings today smacked of sheer bravado and youthful exuberance (he turns 21 in September), with no shortage of skill.
Perhaps England’s favoured short-pitch “Goliath versus David” bowling to the ‘deshis is a little out-dated now: the pitches are better since Bangladesh first arrived (and the sun’s out, too – a Bangladeshi bonus!), and this pitch in particular is obviously a belter. With a side 2 down with 50 on the board, to see a 20 year old carve up Harmison for 19 in an over was thrilling to see. A great talent, one who utterly deserved his second 3-figures in as many matches.