When it comes to T20Is, opener Soumya Sarkar is a world away from the uncertain batsman he has become in the other formats. Coming back into the national setup after being dropped from the ODI and Test squads, he picked up from where he left off in South Africa, where he hit 40s in each of the two T20Is in an otherwise grim tour for Bangladesh. The talented left-hander gave an indication of his range by hitting three boundaries on the trot in the third over from Sri Lanka left-arm pacer Isuru Udana, hitting an inside-out drive through covers before using the natural angle to hook and then flick to the fine leg fence. But the six he hit off Akila Dananjaya in the sixth over gave full notice of his ability. He danced down the wicket and the bowler nearly yorked him, but Soumya dug it out with timing so sweet that the ball carried beyond the long on ropes.
Having just reached his first T20I fifty, Soumya was looking to assert his dominance and stick it to the Lankans. He was however dismissed in his first foray down that path and worse than that, it was a painful end. Attempting to reverse sweep a Jeevan Mendis delivery in the 11th over, he was beaten by the googly and the ball hit him where the pain is temporary but intense. Although a blow to the nether regions is often followed by one or two minutes of the player on the floor, Soumya, having been given out, had to be assisted hurriedly off the field. It was too bad that the pain was overpowering as the decision would have been overturned had he reviewed because the ball struck him outside the line of leg stump. It would also have been a great image to see a batsman on his back and cringing in pain while making the review sign.
COBRA IN MIRPUR
There was special interest surrounding one of the four debutants for Bangladesh yesterday. Left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam has been plying his trade in the domestic circuit for nearly eight years. But it was in the Bangladesh Premier League that he became known for a certain kind of celebration after taking wickets. So everyone was waiting with bated breath when Bangladesh started their defence of 193 and Nazuml opened the innings. The Sri Lankans got off to a flier, but Nazmul's wily spin soon came to the rescue. He had Danushka Gunathilaka stumped by Mushfiqur Rahim in the fifth over and even before the TV umpire sent the batsman on his way, Nazmul gave the crowd what they were waiting for, both hands in front of his face and doing the snake jig. The Cobra had arrived.