“The batsmen couldn’t play well. There are no two ways about it. But that is because they didn’t get any match practice. Batting in a match is completely different from batting in the nets and you can’t replicate that,” Nafees said.
The BCB President's Cup was becoming an increasingly bowler-dominated tournament, even after 40 overs in the first innings of the third match between Tamim's XI and Najmul's XI.
But then Mahedi Hasan sprung to life with the bat, scoring 82 from just 57 balls to take his team - Tamim's XI - past 200. It was a first time a team had crossed 200 so far in the one-day tournament.
In reply, Mushfiqur Rahim showed the proper application and class required to score runs on a good surface at the Sher-e-Bangla national cricket stadium in Mirpur. The experienced right-handed batsman scored 103 from 109 balls in an innings that had nine boundaries.
Current national team selector and former captain Habibul Bashar expressed his displeasure during the match as he expected the batsmen to score more runs.
"This pitch is a bit better and more batsman-friendly than the one in the previous two games, so I was expecting the batsmen to do better," Bashar said during commentary.
Shahriar Nafees, another national team batsman and former captain, who is also giving commentary during the live broadcast of the tournament on the BCB's Facebook page spoke to The Business Standard about the failures of the batsmen and explained why it happened.
"The batsmen couldn't play well. There are no two ways about it. But that is because they didn't get any match practice. Batting in a match is completely different from batting in the nets and you can't replicate that," Nafees said.
The left-handed top-order batsman also explained that bowlers are doing well because they don't have to coordinate as much as the batsmen: "Bowlers can get an advantage here and you are seeing them doing well. Plus you have to give them credit for the way they prepare. Batsmen need more coordination here in places like running between the wickets and pacing the innings."
But Nafees believes that the batsmen are trying hard to deliver with the bat but are not finding the right balance here: "There are players trying to get runs. Some are scoring five runs from 40 balls. Then there are some that are playing too many shots and looking restless. They are not finding the right balance yet."
The 35-year-old, however, gave credit to Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahedi for the way they batted and hoped other batsmen would find confidence from their batting and do better.
"Mushfiqur Rahim found the balance. Apart from a few shots like the scoops, Mushfiq mostly played proper cricketing shots. Mahedi took his time and got set. And then he launched after understanding the nature of the pitch. It's a confidence booster for the other batsmen, not a lesson. Hopefully, others will now step and we will see bigger totals and better performances from the batsmen," Nafees explained.
Najmul XI take of Mahmudullah XI in the fourth match of the tournament on Saturday with all three teams on two points from two games.