Heroic Tamim Iqbal returns to bat with one hand after wrist fracture
Two hours after being told by doctors that his Asia Cup was over because of a fractured left wrist, Tamim Iqbal, much to everyone's surprise, walked out to bat with one hand after the fall of ninth wicket. He hung on with centurion Mushfiqur Rahim and helped add 32 for the final wicket, lifting his side to 261.
Tamim, who came out with his left hand positioned as if in a sling, had four fingers from his left glove popping out to support a special padding on the glove. He played out just one ball upon return, but it helped Bangladesh get the final kick, courtesy an astonishing Mushfiqur onslaught in the last three overs. As such, Tamim's injury will rule him out of action for at least six weeks.
After being beaten on a pull against Suranga Lakmal, he was hit on his left wrist in the second over. Tamim immediately signalled towards the physiotherapist and retired hurt on 2 off 3 balls. He was later taken to the hospital, where scans revealed a crack on the outside of his index finger. However, much to everyone's surprise, he walked out to bat after the fall of the ninth wicket in the 47th over, with all four fingers, barring the thumb, popping out of his glove to support the padding.
Tamim's injury put Bangladesh in a dire position, having already lost Liton Das and Shakib Al Hasan for ducks to Lasith Malinga in the first over of the match. "We took him to hospital only because it was a serious injury, and not just mere bruising," Minajul Abedin, the Bangladesh chief selector, told ESPNcricinfo. "He was in some pain obviously and it wouldn't have been prudent to continue batting."
Tamim is likely to return to Bangladesh soon, with Nazmul Hossain Shanto, the back-up batsman, a possible replacement for their second game against Afghanistan on September 20. Shanto, too, is recovering from a finger injury, but was named 12th man against Sri Lanka, which is perhaps a sign that his condition is improving. Tamim's injury is likely to give the team management more headaches. As such there is still an air of confusion over the status of Shakib's finger after the player himself said he was just "20 to 30% fit" for the Asia Cup.
Shakib was supposed to undergo surgery on return from the West Indies tour in the first week of August, but was subsequently named in the 16-man Asia Cup squad. The BCB president Nazmul Hassan is understood to have asked him skip the Zimbabwe series in October and November to recuperate.
With inputs from Mohammad Isam
Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo