• Mortaza probable for SA clash despite hurt hamstring

    Fully fit or not, captain Mashrafe Mortaza will likely be available for selection for Bangladesh’s World Cup opening fixture against South Africa at The Oval in London on Sunday.

    Mortaza sustained a hamstring injury during an extended spell in Tuesday’s warm-up match against India at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff. He prolonged his stay in the attack in an attempt to end a threatening partnership between Indian skipper 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 35-year-old Mortaza has taken six wickets in 11 ODIs at an average of almost 80 against the Proteas. South Africa and Bangladesh have contested 20 ODIs since 2002’s first meeting. The former have won 17 and the latter three.

    Photo: Getty Images

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