Mustafizur Rahman may have remained intact in the third T20I between Bangladesh and Australia on Friday, but the cunning left arm was the player who took control of the most important phase of the game.
With Australia requiring 24 runs from 12 balls with 7 fins in hand, Mustafizur decided to decide the outcome of the race on his own by pulling a pass from one.
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Fizz was just as impressive in yesterday’s T20I quarterback, with Australia chasing a meager 104. His first over gave him a wicket maiden, while he gave just two runs in his second over.
“Mustafa’s spell today [Friday] was as impressive as a five-fin metaphor, if not more. Especially with the way he did his last pass, giving only one run and bowling five dots. “That was very important,” said Capt. Mahmoud Riyadh, after a third straight T20I victory over Australia, which ended a five-game winning streak with 3-0.
Mahmoudullah’s words may raise concerns about whether statistics should include more variables to provide a better understanding of Mustafizur’s impressive performance in the third game.
Can his spell and impact be quantified by insignificant statistics, such as “number of handles”, “economic rate” or “strike rate”? How do we quantify, or at least approximate, the impact of the disruption of Fizz dotted deliveries at 19?
Cricket is, most of the time, a partnership game. However, when we think of collaborations, the side of things catches our attention. The impact of bowling, bowling successively, from two ends, remains largely underestimated.
Like a football playmaker like Lionel Messi, whose scores and assists alone cannot justify the impact he had on a game. Since we are talking about team games, how a player affects the “measurable” success of teammates – what further statistical variable can be incorporated into cricket analysis – could be food for thought.
One such variable could be the assist of the bowler, in the spirit of football. With the number of wickets and the execution, it would be interesting to see who had achieved the previous one that led to the fall of a wicket.
Returning to the third game of the series, Mustafizur’s second over, 13th Bangladesh, saw him put five consecutive balls on a Mitchell Marsh in form. This created pressure and brought success to Shakib in the following. Mustafizur’s third over, 17th innings, cost just four runs and Shoriful won Mitchell Marsh’s award-winning wicket the next.
These two “assists” definitely led to the dismissal of two of the best Aussie players in the game. Australia ended up with six wickets in hand, but unfortunately for them, they were 10 runs less than their goal at the end of the game. Again, these two “assists” can claim to have had more impact than two wickets in an average game.
Been was the source of Australia’s biggest touring headache. After all, three of their recent appearances against Bangladesh were Australia’s top ten with the lowest scores in T20I history. They have played a total of 144 games.
However, after the second game, the Australians showed a commendable athletic attitude, suitable for a successful cricket nation, when they talked about Mustafizur. Aston Agar urged aspiring Australian cricketers to look out for Mustafizour, whom “they had never seen in Australia”. Moises Henriques told Australian media: “I think he put in 23 slower balls. The amount of speed he gets even in a good wicket is hard to play, let alone something like that.”
Before the series, the Aussies probably would not have credited Fizz for being this deadly or this intimidating, sometimes unplayed border. Instead of having a clear idea of how to negotiate his deliveries with relative ease, the men from Down Under became entangled in yet another web of confusion.
Former Bangladeshi captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, under whom Mustafizur made his international debut, summed up the happy feelings of Bangladeshi fans on Facebook, writing: “First win in a row against Australia! What a spell!” 7 dots in his last 12 deliveries! Unbelievable! “