Nazim blows Scots away

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Young batsman Nazimuddin enhanced his reputation as an opener with a blazing half-century as Bangladesh recorded a comprehensive six-wicket victory against Scotland in an ICC World Twenty20 warm-up match at the SuperSport Park in Centurion yesterday.

The 22-year-old Chittagonian provided a rare instance of consistency for the Tigers in the lead-up to the tournament proper that begins on Tuesday when he smashed an unbeaten 74 to steer Bangladesh to 148 for 4 to overtake Scotland's 145-8 with four overs yet to be bowled.

The right-hander clobbered nine fours and three sixes during his 42-ball essay and his hometown partner Aftab Ahmed struck a run-a-ball 33 with the help of five sweetly timed boundaries.

Nazimuddin suddenly hogged the spotlight after he had been drafted into the playing eleven against Kenya in the four-nation tune-up tourney following a last moment injury of Shakib Al Hasan and the young batter made no mistake to take the opportunity with both hands.

He just carried his form from the Kenya tour where he started with a match-winning 43-run knock against the hosts and then played a magnificent 81-run innings against Pakistan to all but confirm his place in the playing eleven in the championship.

Chasing the decent Scottish total, Bangladesh lost their first wicket in the very first over when dashing left-hander Tamim Iqbal continued his poor showing with a 6-ball 8, but Aftab joined his divisional teammate Nazimuddin to ensure the comfortable victory.

The Chittagonian pair added 87 runs for the second-wicket stand to tear the Scotland attack apart.

Although captain Mohammad Ashraful (4) and fit-again Shakib (8) fell in quick succession, Alok Kapali remained not out on nine to see the Tigers home without any further damage.

Earlier, Scotland thrived on a well-paced 54 by Navdeep Poonia to put up a respectable total on the board after deciding to bat first. The 21-year-old right-hander, who played 14 one-day internationals, hit four boundaries and two sixes in his 43-ball innings before being trapped leg before wicket by Ashraful.

Left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak caused the early damages by sharing the new ball with Syed Rasel as he sent back both openers with the scoreboard reading 20-2. Pace spearhead Mashrafe Bin Mortaza also captured two wickets but was too expensive giving away 42 runs in four overs.

Shakib claimed two for 28 runs.

The Tigers take on Kenya in the second and final warm-up match today.