Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said the 224-run partnership between Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah was “phenomenal.” Chasing a total of 266, Bangladesh found themselves 33/4 in less than 12 overs, with three of the top order batsman back in the shed inside the first five overs. But the incredible 200-plus stand between Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah helped Bangladesh over the line and gave them a fighting chance at reaching the knockouts.
“We thought 266 was gettable, but after 33 for four it becomes very hard,” Mortaza said, “Once the partnership got to a hundred I knew those two could make a difference. They’ve done it a lot of other times, but it was phenomenal to get a 200 partnership.”
It was a day when Bangladesh opener and their best batsman Tamim Iqbal failed to score any runs. Iqbal fell off the second ball of the Bangladesh innings for a duck. This follows his century against England and 95 against Australia. “We know Tamim cannot get a score every time, but we have got some excellent players who can win games.”
Bangladesh still need to hope that England beat Australia or the Saturday fixture produces no result so as to reach the knockouts. “That will be nice (if England win), but we can’t just expect Australia to lose that game,” Mortaza told reporters, “I would like to say the best of luck to both teams, because whatever we could do we did. That is most important for us.”
Mortaza was optimistic of the future of Bangladesh in the sport after the performance angainst New Zealand, “Obviously, I would like to go to the semis and if we do we will hopefully play better cricket than in the last three matches. We have to wait now, but in the last three years we keep improving a lot. This sort of performance really help us to move forward, especially with the 2019 World Cup (in England) coming up. It will really boost the team,” said Mortaza.