Soumya grabs his chance


Bangladesh opener Soumya Sarkar staked his claim for the opening slot alongside Tamim Iqbal in the forthcoming ICC Cricket World Cup in the United Kingdom with a confident half century against West Indies in Bangladesh’s tri-series opener in Dublin on Tuesday.
Soumya, who returned to the opening position after eight one-day international matches, made good use of his opportunity, forming a 144-run opening stand with Tamim to set up the 262-run chase for Bangladesh.
Soumya, who is competing with wicketkeeper batsman Liton Das to partner Tamim in the top of the order in the World Cup, brought up his eighth ODI fifty along the way, finishing up on 73 off 68 balls with nine fours and one six.
Although on paper it seemed like a straight forward victory with Bangladesh winning it with eight wickets in hand and 30 balls to spare, but the scenario was different at the beginning of Bangladesh’s chase.
Tamim struggled to cope with Kemar Roach and Sheldon Cottrell as the pacers were getting some movement off the pitch and at one point he was batting on six off 30 balls.
Soumya on the other end looked solid though, hitting boundaries and turning the strike over regularly to keep the scoreboard ticking.
Soumya’s innings allowed Tamim to take a little bit more time to settle in and eventually he made up for his slow start, finishing on 80 off 116 balls.
‘Wicket was not easy to bat on,’ Soumya told reporters after the match on Tuesday.
‘Playing shots were difficult. Back of the length balls were easy to play but full length balls were tough. Our plan was to build up partnership then the game will be in our grasp.’
Both the players urged each other in the middle to carry on and in the end forged Bangladesh’s biggest opening stand against the Caribbean side.
‘It wasn’t like Tamim bhai wasn’t scoring so we got stuck. There was no pressure. He told me play your normal game. At one point match will be on our hand.’
‘I also told him that ‘your game is ok. If one over goes well you will be able to cover up the runs.’ We were talking about these actually. We were telling ourselves that we won’t push anything,’ said the 26-year old.
The win further boosted the opener’s confidence of doing well in English conditions and felt that his team-mates were also rearing to move forward with the rest of their tour.
‘Off course, victory always makes everyone confident. We all are confident now. And we won’t be able to change the condition. We are not thinking about that, we are trying to move forward by giving everything we have,’ he said.