Mushfiq a captain’s dream

Scarcely had the ball sailed over the thirty-yard circle did Mushfiqur Rahim let out a war cry signalling victory, that too in his first match as captain of the Tigers. It all seemed to be slipping away just as it had in that heartbreaking third ODI against Zimbabwe in Harare in mid-August, when Mushfiq had battled his way to a brilliant hundred, only to find himself on the losing side after bringing the team painfully close to victory in the last over of the chase.
Yesterday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Bangladesh needed 6 to win off the last over with Mushfiq on strike and four wickets in hand. The equation soon turned to 5 required off three deliveries with Nasir Hossain perishing off the third ball. Abdur Razzak came in and handed the strike to Mushfiq with four needed off two. The six he hit to seal the deal could hardly have tasted any sweeter.
But the man himself was the picture of calmness at the post-match press conference, graciously accepting the congratulations but all underpinned by a steel that revealed his character.
“I believed that if Nasir and I stay till the last over, even if we needed 10 or 15 runs, we would win,” said the new Bangladesh captain. “Also, we got some runs in the second-last over which was a bonus for us. In the last over, though Nasir got out, I had the confidence that if I got the ball in my zone then I could hit it for a four or six. Fortunately, that is what happened.”
When asked how he was feeling about his auspicious debut as captain, Mushfiq beamed and said, “Obviously I am delighted. Everyone wants the first match to be memorable, and I couldn’t have asked for more. We won the toss and it was the plan to bowl first because the due might be a factor, and our bowling is spin-reliant. We saved 10-12 runs on the field and there was a concerted effort to restrict them as much as possible.
“Our top order got us off to a good start, and in the middle West Indies bowled well and our batting collapsed a bit, but the lower-middle order made a valuable contribution in the form of Nasir and Naeem (Islam). Overall it was a great team effort.”
Mushfiqur also gave the bowlers the lion’s share of the credit, saying that 132 on this pitch was not a difficult total.
“I think we bowled fantastically well to restrict West Indies to 132. It was not a difficult total, but you know in T20 you can’t always be consistent as a batsman because you have to play so many shots.”
Inevitably, the question about the Harare heartbreak came up, but Mushfiqur said that the two situations were different.
“In Harare going into the last over we only had one wicket left, and I knew that even if I took a single at that point we would have lost the match; in other words it was all on me. Here, since we had three wickets left, I knew that even if I mishit the shot and we ran one or two there would still be a chance to win.
Another thing was that I was targeting the smaller side of the ground, and I was confident that even a mishit could travel for six.”
He impressed on the field as well, sticking by Rubel Hossain even after the fast bowler had been taken for 17 runs in one over during the Powerplay. “He got hit for two sixes, but one of them was a mishit, and these things can happen in Powerplays. But what I liked was he responded well to the responsibility placed on him and he came back well. He has been bowling really well, so I knew he could do the job.”
Despite the hammering in the one over, Rubel finished with a respectable 1-32 in his four overs, vindicating his captain’s faith.
Looking ahead to the one-dayers starting Thursday, the new skipper said that it would be a challenge that he is looking forward to.
“I think if you look at the two teams, West Indies were favourites to win this match, but it all comes down to who plays better on the day, and today we played well in all three departments, and we look forward to doing that in the one-dayers as well.”
On vice-captain Mahmud-ullah Riyad’s situation, Mushfiq felt that he had gone for some blood tests and hoped that he recovers from the viral fever within two or three days.
West Indies skipper Darren Sammy echoed his counterpart’s sentiments saying, “We knew it was going to be an interesting series. They held their nerves better than we did. We never took them for granted.”
He laid the blame for the loss on not scoring enough runs.
“We could have scored more runs, and we could have stopped more balls in the field. But in the end we made more mistakes than they did, that is why we lost.”
With the team not scoring enough runs, the inevitable question of missing big-hitting opener Chris Gayle came up. Sammy, however, insisted that it was not a problem.
“We have been playing without Chris Gayle since the World Cup, so we are used to it now. A lot of other guys have got the opportunity, so it’s no excuse.”

-With The Daily Star input

Related News

Bangladesh wins final-over thriller in Brisbane

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Bangladesh got back on track in the Twenty20 World Cup on Sunday when they beat Zimbabwe in a thrilling last-ball win. Opener Najmul Shanto’s first half-century and Taskin Ahmed’s three wickets helped them win. Shanto’s 71 helped Bangladesh get to 150-7 at Brisbane Gabba ground in a game that came down ... Read more

Tigers can become very good T20 side in future: Sriram

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Despite their mixed fortunes in the ongoing T20 World Cup, Bangladesh’s technical consultant, Sridharan Sriram, believes the Tigers have the potential to become a very good T20 side in the future. The Tigers entered the tournament with their only win in the main draw of the 2007 Twenty20 World Cup against ... Read more

Tigers suffer their worst-ever loss in T20Is to SA

Batters surrender against their opponent Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Bangladesh’s batting was no match for their counterpart South Africa, which led to a massive loss for the Tigers by 104 runs at the Sydney Cricket Ground today in the two teams’ second Super 12 fixture of the T20 World Cup. Chasing a daunting 206, Bangladesh ... Read more

Taskin leads Bangladesh to 9-run win over Netherlands

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Bangladesh began their T20 World Cup campaign on a high note today, defeating the Netherlands by 9 runs at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart. The Dutch were all out for 135 after 20 overs, in reply to Bangladesh’s 144 for eight after 20 overs. The result is historic from Bangladesh’s perspective ... Read more

Tamim to attend Brazil’s match against Serbia at FIFA WC

Sports Desk: dhakamirror.com Tamim Iqbal, captain of the Bangladesh ODI team, will attend the FIFA World Cup match between Brazil and Serbia. Tamim told The Daily Star he was gifted the tickets. Brazil plays Serbia on November 24 at Qatar’s Lusail Stadium. The FIFA World Cup attracts interest from around the world, and seeing Neymar ... Read more

Netherlands become Tigers’ first opponent

Sports Desk: dhakamirror.com Bangladesh may start analyzing the Netherlands after Group A qualification ended yesterday. The Tigers will face the Dutch on October 24 in Hobart. Despite losing by 16 runs against Sri Lanka, the Dutch are in the Super 12s as runners-up behind the Lankans after UAE beat Namibia by seven runs on Thursday. ... Read more

West Indies ousted, Ireland reaches Super 12

Sports Desk: dhakamirror.com Veteran opener Paul Stirling smashed an unbeaten 66 to propel Ireland into the Twenty20 World Cup Super 12 and eliminate two-time champions West Indies in a shocking upset on Friday. Gareth Delany took a career-best 3-16 to reduce the Caribbeans to 146-5 before the Irish reached their goal with 15 balls to ... Read more

Shakib reclaims the top all-rounder ranking

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan will enter the ICC T20 World Cup on top of the world after he was elevated to the No.1 spot for all-rounders on the latest MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I Player Rankings. Shakib claimed top billing on the back of an excellent tri-series against New Zealand ... Read more

No more opening slot experiments: chief selector

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Bangladesh national cricket team chief selector Minhajul Abedin reassured that the team management wouldn’t experiment further with the opening slot during the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia. Bangladesh are scheduled to start their campaign in the Super 12 round on October 24 in Hobart against the Group A runners-up from ... Read more

Pakistan win tri-series final, sends T20 World Cup warning

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Mohammad Nawaz, an all-rounder, helped Pakistan defeat New Zealand by five wickets on Friday to win the tri-series Twenty20 final in Christchurch with three balls remaining. After the hosts finished on 163-7 at Hagley Oval, spinner Michael Bracewell checked Pakistan’s early momentum in the tourists’ reply, before Nawaz stepped up with ... Read more

Rain ends Bangladesh’s title defence

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Rain ended hosts Bangladesh’s chance of qualifying for the semi-final of the eighth Asia Cup as their match against the UAE was washed out in Sylhet on Tuesday. The wash-out meant Thailand moved to the semi-final for the first time in history with six points collected from as many matches earlier ... Read more

Bangladesh defeated by SL in thriller

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com India and Sri Lanka advanced to the eighth Women’s Asia Cup semi-finals after defeating Thailand and the host Bangladesh, on a rain-hampered day in Sylhet on Monday. Pakistan joined them in the semi-final as well because both teams have eight points and are tied for second position with Sri Lanka. Bangladesh ... Read more

Conway leads New Zealand to victory against Bangladesh

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com In the third game of the tri-nation series, played on Sunday in Christchurch, opening batsman Devon Conway led New Zealand to an eight-wicket victory over Bangladesh. The left-handed batter smashed six fours and a six as the hosts chased down Bangladesh’s total of 137 with 13 balls to spare, in the ... Read more

Bangladesh utterly defeated by India

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com India recovered from a shocking loss to Pakistan to defeat hosts Bangladesh by 59 runs on Saturday in Sylhet, effectively securing a spot in the semifinals of the eighth Women’s Asia Cup. India has eight points after winning four of its last five games, with one more match to play in ... Read more

Tigers hope to improve against Kiwis

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com When Bangladesh plays New Zealand in today’s second game of the ongoing tri-nation series in Christchurch, they will be trying to get back on track. The game will start at noon (12:00pm). The match will be broadcast live on T Sports and in Bangladesh Standard Time. Bangladesh, which lost to Pakistan ... Read more

Dona Ganguly diagnosed with chikungunya

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Dona Ganguly, wife of Sourav Ganguly, President of The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was admitted to a private hospital in Kolkata on Tuesday after being diagnosed with chikungunya. As per reports, she was rushed to Woodlands hospital after showing symptoms of the virus. The acclaimed Indian Odissi ... Read more

Nepalese cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane is in custody for rape

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Sandeep Lamichhane, a former captain for Nepal, returned home on Thursday (October 6) to defend himself against rape allegations made against him about a month ago. Lamichhane, who has denied all the allegations, was immediately arrested, according to Dinesh Raj Mainali, a spokeswoman for Kathmandu District Police, spoke to AFP news ... Read more

Bangla Wash T20I tri-nation series logo unveiled

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com The official logo of the Bangla Wash Twenty20 International tri-nation cricket series was unveiled in a ceremony held at a city hotel on Wednesday. Bangladesh, Pakistan and hosts New Zealand will compete in the series to be held at Christchurch from October 7 to 14. The title sponsor of the series ... Read more

Women’s team look to make turnaround

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Bangladesh national women’s team will be looking to move up in the order when they take on their Malaysian counterparts during their third match of the ongoing Women’s T20 Asia Cup at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium today. The match is scheduled to start at 1:30pm and will be telecast live ... Read more

We are not thinking of results: Nurul

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com Bangladesh vice-captain Nurul Hasan said that he was not concerned about the results, rather he was focusing on the process in the approaching tri-nation series starting in Christchurch on Friday. Bangladesh will take on Pakistan in the series opener at 8:00am Bangladesh Standard Time and T Sports will telecast the game ... Read more