Coach at the centre of BD-SL showdown

Coach at the centre of BD-SL showdown

Although it is all that people outside the two relevant dressing rooms seem to want to talk about, there has been a conscious effort from those inside to avoid making today's tri-series match about Sri Lanka coach Chandika Hathurusingha taking on Bangladesh, his former charges, for the first time since switching sides.

Bangladesh are not playing against Hathurusingha; they are playing against Sri Lanka,” Sri Lanka batting coach Thilan  Samaraweera, another former Bangladesh support staff who took up a corresponding position in his native country, said yesterday ahead of the match that gets underway from 12:00pm at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today.

Indeed, it is Sri Lanka taking on Bangladesh and there are things other than the Hathurusingha saga to focus on, such as Sri Lanka badly needing a win to move past an unexpected defeat to Zimbabwe on Wednesday. On the other hand, this tri-series is the first time Bangladesh are favourites in a multi-team international event, not just because they are the home side but because they are the highest ranked team on display. With a handsome eight-wicket win over Zimbabwe to kick off the tri-series on Monday, the Tigers will want to consolidate their unfamiliar position of frontrunner today.

However, it will be hard to look past the Hathurusingha factor if only because his exit from Bangladesh was so recent that, in his first press conference as Sri Lanka coach on Sunday, he absentmindedly used the pronoun 'we' while talking about Bangladesh. Then there is the hint of acrimony surrounding the timing and manner of his resignation -- two years before the end of his contract with the Bangladesh Cricket Board and midway through a disastrous tour of South Africa, without much communication with the board or the players.

Last but not least, it will also be interesting to see which team will benefit from this very recent shift of personnel -- will Hathurusingha's local knowledge gleaned over three years give Sri Lanka the edge, or will the Tigers' insight into the Sri Lankan's strategic proclivities be the difference-maker, or will they cancel each other out?

Before the tournament opener Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and technical director Khaled Mahmud had, like Samaraweera and Hathurusingha himself, sought to play down the Hathurusingha angle, saying that the players and not the coach do the deeds on the field and also that insight into the other camp is a two-way street.

Yesterday, however, while saying that they had moved past Hathurusingha, Mashrafe let slip a missive towards his former coach, saying that it would have been interesting if the Sri Lankan had stuck around after the South Africa tour to see if the ship could be turned around. But he chose to go to Sri Lanka,” Mashrafe added, the implication being that Hathusuringha took the easy way out in a time of strife.

That is likely to be the overwhelming feeling in the Bangladesh camp in today's blockbuster clash and even though Hathurusingha has wished Bangladesh well publicly, it is a match that both camps will be desperate to win.

There will be a temptation for Bangladesh to retain the team that played so well to beat Zimbabwe, but with Sri Lanka having more left-handers in the top order, left-arm spinner Sunzamul Haque may make way for off-spinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz. For Sri Lanka, the main concern will surround the availability of skipper Angelo Mathews. Samaraweera said yesterday that they were monitoring the all-rounder, who sustained a suspected hamstring injury in Wednesday's game against Zimbabwe, and will decide today whether he is fit to play.

In the context of the tournament, Sri Lanka need to win this match more than Bangladesh, who already have a win in the bag. In a wider context however, Bangladesh's players will want to show that they can thrive in the post-Hathurusingha era.

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Fearless cricket Mashrafe's mantra

Fearless cricket Mashrafe's mantra

The hallmark of a professional is his ability to think positively and the words of Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza yesterday reflected that ideal ahead of today's tri-series clash between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

It was evident during the pre-match briefing that Mashrafe and Co. were well aware of the fact that they need to handle their emotions professionally in the face of all the chatter surrounding their former coach, Chandika Hathurusingha.

There is nothing wrong with the players being pumped up to prove their credentials against their recently-departed coach, but what Bangladesh's most successful ODI captain desires from his teammates is 'a brand of cricket which ensures freedom and a fearless approach'.

During a marathon press conference, Mashrafe repeatedly emphasised on the need to properly execute their plans and play disciplined cricket all through the match, just as they had against Zimbabwe in the tri-series opener.

We did everything right in the first match, now how we can execute our plan in the next match is most important. The way Bijoy [Anamul Haque] played the first match on his return to the team after a long break embodied exactly how we want to play; fearless cricket," opined Mashrafe.

Like a true professional, Mashrafe added that the team had put the Chandika issue behind well before the start of the series.

It's new for a team to face its last coach…actually we put behind the issue well before the series. Once he left we forgot his planning. We are coping with a new coach, so there is no scope to think about this issue," said Mashrafe.

The right-arm pacer also did not hesitate in having a slight jab at his former coach, saying: "Everywhere you face challenges. When Hathurusingha was in Bangladesh there was some kind of pressure on him and the challenge for him would have increased after the loss in South Africa. That challenge could have been interesting but he didn't stay, rather he chose Sri Lanka.

However Mashrafe showed his opponents due respect considering that they have players like Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera, and added that the team had to be mentally prepared to handle any tough situations, such as the one Sri Lanka found themselves in against Zimbabwe.

Mashrafe, who was looking for a combined effort and consistency, has high hopes from his pace bowlers as he believes that their performance matters the most in Bangladesh's wins and informed that it was good news for him that Mustafizur Rahman provided evidence of returning to his old form.

Mashrafe has all but a settled unit, with two stalwarts in Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan getting off to a flyer in the new year, but he believes that Shakib's promotion to the number three position created an opportunity for young all-rounders to show their potential at the number eight position by scoring quick-fire runs.

We have a big space at the number seven-eight position after Shakib's promotion in the batting order and one will only be able to cope if he can be consistent at this position," said Mashrafe.

In the end, the Bangladesh captain gave the impression that the Tigers were confident of their plan to beat Chandika's Sri Lanka and just needed to execute accordingly in the middle today.

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A bad mix of teens and power

A bad mix of teens and power

Police yesterday morning arrested five alleged killers of Adnan Ispar, a teenager who was chased down and stabbed to death on Tuesday in Jamal Khan area of Chittagong city.

The sharp weapon used in the killing was also recovered by police during a raid.

Police made the arrests in separate raids in Fatikhhari upazila and the city's Bahaddarhat area in early hours.

The arrestees are Moin Khan, 18, son of Nurul Islam; Sabbir Khan, 18, son of Mohammad Osman; Abdullah Al Sayed, 18, son of Abdus Sattar; Ekhlas Uddin Arman, 18, son of Mohammad Moktar; and Muntasir Mostafa, 18, son of Mostafa Kamal, said police.

Speaking with The Daily Star, Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) (south) Shah Mohammad Abdur Rauf said the arrestees during primary interrogation admitted that they used a firearm to threaten Adnan before killing him and they had received it from three local political “Boro Bhai” for establishing supremacy in the area.

Police insiders and locals requesting anonymity said the five arrestees are members of a juvenile gang that is involved in extortion and other criminal activities in Chandanpura and Goni Bakery area.

The gang gets political backing from Chawk Bazar thana Awami League leader Abdur Rauf, they also alleged.

During primary interrogation following the arrests, it was found that Adnan, a ninth grader at Chittagong Collegiate School, was murdered following a brawl between two juvenile groups over playing games at a playground, said investigators.

SM Mostain Hossain, deputy commissioner (DC) of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) south zone, at a press briefing said, “The knife was also recovered from the school bag of arrestee Moin who stabbed Adnan over a game-related feud.

The police were yet to recover a firearm that the killers brandished before stabbing Adnan, the DC also said.

Regarding the AL leader's alleged involvement with the killers, DC Mostain during the press briefing said the police are yet to find any connection of AL leader Abdur Rauf in the murder. However, they would not spare anyone if the person is found to be involved in the killing of Adnan.

After scrutinising CCTV footage collected from around the murder scene, the “police arrested Moin, Nurul, Sabbir, and Sayed from Samitir Haat area in Fatikhhari upazila while Muntasir was arrested from his house in the city's Bahaddarhat area,” he said.

The police are now working on to identify the person who supplied the gun to them, added the DC.

Of the five arrestees, Moin, Sabbir and Muntasir are HSC second-year students at Hazera-Taju Degree College, Ekhlas is a tenth grade student at Holy Flower School and Sayed has appeared in HSC examination from Islamia College.

Sabbir and Sayed are accused in a case filed with Chawkbazar Police Station on December 12, 2017.

Police insiders said Moin, Nurul, Sabbir, and Sayed took shelter at the house of a local top leader of Bangladesh Chhatra League at Samitir Hat in Fatikchhari.

Describing the incident, ADC Rauf said to The Daily Star, “There was a long-standing rivalry between Adnan's group and a group of students at Ideal School and College [ISC] over playing games at the playground of Mohsin College.

On the day of the killing, being chased out by Adnan and two of his friends, two tenth graders of ISC took the shelter of their senior brothers -- Moin, Sabbir and three others -- at Mejban Khaile Aiyun restaurant.

The five seniors including Moin and Sabbir later came out of the restaurant and chased down Adnan and his two friends. After they caught up with Adnan a few yards away, Sabbir pointed a gun to Adnan's head while Arman and Sayed kept beating him with sticks, he said.

At one stage Adnan was hit by a CNG-run auto rickshaw in front of ISC where Moin stabbed him from behind. Adnan then ran for his life, but collapsed in front of Dr Khastogir Government Girls' High School and College.

The killers later went inside a room on the third floor of the restaurant and left the place one by one after receiving the news of Adnan's death around 3:30pm.

Around 8:30pm, the five went to Badurtala area of Bahaddarhat and four of them boarded a Fatikchhari-bound bus around 9:00pm, said ADC Rauf.

Adnan's father Adnan Aktarul Azam -- an LGED engineer in Khagrachhari -- on Wednesday night filed a murder case with Kotwali Police Station accusing the five arrestees and six unnamed others. Meanwhile, Adnan's friends and students at Chittagong Collegiate School yesterday staged a demonstration in front of Chittagong Press Club demanding capital punishment to his killers.

This correspondent made several attempts to speak with AL's Chawk Bazar thana unit leader Abdur Rauf for his comments over his alleged involvement with Adnan's killers, but his cell phone was found unreachable till the filing of this report around 10:00pm last night. He did not respond to the text message sent to the same number either.

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Tigers cross 250

Tigers cross 250

Bangladesh lose their fourth wicket as Mahmudullah Riyad falls. Mahmudullah c NLTC Perera b Pradeep 24 (23b 2x4 1x6) SR: 104.

43. Mushfiqur swivels well to run two and bring up his fifty in style.

The 44th and the 45th over has seen Bangladesh batsmenn Mushfiqur and Riyad looking to free their arms. Mushfiqur Rahim executed a tricky scoop off Pradeep's slower delivery on the 44th over before running two off the next delivery to reach 50. Mahmudullah hit de Silva over long-on for six as Bangladesh reached 277 for three with five overs remaining.

Bangladesh lose their third wicket as Shakib Al Hasan falls after scoring 67. Shakib Al Hasan c & b Gunaratne 67 (63b 7x4 0x6) SR: 106.

Shakib gets out of a nothing delivery as he slaps the ball straight into the hands of bowler Asela Gunaratne. Frustrating end to Shakib's innigs and Bangladesh would have loved to see him carry on. Mahmudullah Riyad is the new batsman at the crease.

Mushfiqur Rahim is going strongly at the other end as he is on 39 off 32 balls. He is in good form as was showcased by his magnificent six off Thisan Perera in the 36th over, where he danced down the wicket and slapped the bowler over mid-off for six.

Bringing Shakib up the order is paying dividends for the Tigers as he struck a 50 off 50 deliveries. Mushfiqur Rahim is batting on 15.

33. 4: Shakib drives it to mid-off and hurries for a quick single and that brought up his 36th ODI fifty. A run-a ball 50 from the all-rounder.

Bangladesh lose their second wicket as Sri Lanka make the crucial breakthrough. Tamim Iqbal c Dickwella b Dananjaya 84 (102b 7x4 2x6) SR: 82.

Tamim Iqbal falls trying to play Dananjaya without getting to the pitch of the ball. The feet did not move adequately and he adjusted by reaching out for the ball. Got the slightest of nicks and Sri Lanka make the crucial breakthrough. The Tamim-Shakib partnership stops at 99. They put on 99 off just 86 runs and Bangladesh innings as Bangladesh innings gained momentum. Mushfiqur Rahim is the new batsman at the crease.

Tamim Iqbal is really looking to assert dominance now that he has reached his fifty. He went after Gunaratne in the 24th over hitting the bowler for consecutive sixes to pick up 15 runs in that over. In the next over an overpitched Nuwan Pradeep delivery did not go unpunished as Tamim drove it handsomely through the covers for four. The opener is on 73 off 87 deliveries while Shakib  Al Hasan is batiing on  25 off 26 deliveries.

21. Tamim Iqbal knocks the ball to mid on to take a single and bring up his 40th ODI fifty off 72 balls. It is his second successive fifty in the tri-series.

Shakib Al Hasan comes in and along with Tamim Iqbal, carries forward the early impetus provided by Anamul to take the score past 100.

Anamul kept living dangerously as he remained positive but always providing a chance for breakthrough and he was finally gone trying to hook Thisara Perera in the 15th over. Anamul left after scoring 35 runs as Shakib Al Hasan joined Tamim Iqbal at the crease.

Bangladesh reach 50 without loss after 10 overs in their match against Sri Lanka in the third ODI of the tri-nation series.

It has been a shaky start for Anamul Haque as he struck a couple of boundaries but also got lucky when he was dropped in the very first over. He then hit Akila Dananjaya for six in the 10th over and in the very next ball a difficult stumping opportunity was missed.

Anamul survived again as Lakmal found the edge of hid bat in the seventh over. Ball went to slips again and just fell wide of the fielder and ran away for four. Tamim on the other hand is looking pretty solid out there as he drives Nuwan Pradeep through the covers for four.

Tamim has been watchful while Anamul has looked to play his shots after the first five overs of play. Anamul is lucky to be still there after he played away from his body and was dropped at first slip by Kusal Mendis in just the third delivery of the very first over bowled by Suranga Lakmal. Tamim Iqbal followed him with a similar shot in the very next ball. An eventful first over. Tamim and Anamul then played two lovely straight drives for four runs as they presented the full face of the bat in the second and the third over respectively.

Bangladesh have won the toss and elected to bat first against Sri Lanka in the third ODI of the tri-nation series.

Tigers are buoyed by their win against Zimbabwe on the opening game of the tri-nation however Zimbabwe came back strongly with a brilliant win against Sri Lanka in their second game.

Lankan skipper Angelo Matthews is ruled out through an hamstring injury and in his absence Dinesh Chandimal will lead the side. Bangladesh have picked Mohammad Saifuddin to replace Sunzamul Islam in a bid to further strengthen the pace attack.

Upul Tharanga, Kusal Perera, Dinesh Chandimal (wk & capt), Nuwan Pradeep, Kusal Mendis, Asela Gunaratne, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Wanindu Hasaranga, Niroshan Dickwella.

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Audience data provider Eyeota raises $12.5M

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Eyeota is looking to sell audience data to advertisers around the world, and it’s announcing that it’s raised $12.5 million in Series B funding for further growth.

The company was actually founded back in 2010, but it didn’t raise its Series A until two years ago. CEO Kevin Tan admitted that the company had been “difficult for early-stage investors

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Enzyme.com wants to make FDA compliance easier for startups

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The Food and Drug Administration approval process can be like navigating a minefield for health startups hoping to get through regulations and begin selling to the American public. YC company Enzyme.com hopes to help these small businesses by automating the process for them.

Biomedical engineer Jared Seehafer came up with the idea through his own

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