• Bangladesh wait on Tamim fitness for SA clash

    Opening batsman Tamim Iqbal is in doubt for Bangladesh’s World Cup opening fixture against South Africa at The Oval in London on Sunday.

    Iqbal was struck on the wrist during practice. While he didn’t fracture any bones, bruising and swelling might prevent participation against the Proteas.

    ‘It’s too early to say anything specific but we will have an X-ray and if there is a fracture, then he won’t be available,’ said selector Habibul Bashar.

    ‘But if that is not the case, then we can hope he will be available for the opening game.’

    The hard-hitting left-hander has gathered 287 runs in 11 matches at an average of under 29 against the South Africans in the intermediate format of the international game. His career aggregate is 6636 in 193 at over 36.

    Bangladesh are also waiting on the fitness of captain Mashrafe Mortaza, who is nursing a hamstring injury but will likely play against South Africa.

    Mortaza sustained a hamstring injury during an extended spell in Tuesday’s warm-up match with India at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff. He prolonged his stay in the attack in an attempt to end a threatening partnership between Indian captain Virat Kohli and opening batsman Rohit Sharma.

    ‘A lot of times in such cases, I face trouble bowling the first one or two overs. Once I get through that, I don’t face any more problems. I also wasn’t facing any problems on Tuesday,’ Mashrafe told the Dhaka-based bdnews24.

    ‘But I pulled a hamstring during the sixth over. I could have stopped after four or five overs, but Rohit and Kohli were looking to score runs quickly during that period. I felt that I needed to practise bowling in such a situation.’

    The Bangladeshis’ and Proteas have contested 20 ODIs. The former have won three and the latter 17. South Africa were defeated by England in Thursday’s World Cup opening fixture at The Oval.

    Photo: Getty Images

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