Sunday, 18 March, 2018

Win boosts Tigers, keeps hope alive

Published on: 11:34 am - Monday | March 12, 2018

Bangladesh looked to have earned morale boosting win over Sri Lanka to keep their hope alive in the ongoing Nidahas Trophy at Colombo as they completed a record chase to break free from the jinx of defeat.Mushfiqur Rahim hit a blazing half-century to help Bangladesh chase down a record 215 and beat Sri Lanka by five wickets in a thrilling Twenty20 international of the tri-series in Colombo on Saturday.

Mushfiq smashed an unbeaten 72 off 35 balls as the visitors achieved their target with two balls to spare at the R Premadasa Stadium. Mushfiq, who hit 5 fours and 4 sixes, broke into a dance after giving Bangladesh their highest-ever run chase in the shortest format, and the fourth biggest overall in international T20s.

The diminutive wicketkeeper-batsman built crucial partnerships after openers Tamim Iqbal, who hit 47, and Liton Das, who made 43 off 19 balls, set up the chase with a brisk start. Bangladesh had no inkling about how things could go as horribly haywire as it has since their emphatic start in the tri-nation ODI series at home, where they began with three wins – two over Zimbabwe and one over Sri Lanka.

Ever since, they have lost two ODIs, one Test and three T20Is before the historic win over Sri Lanka. Skipper Mahmudullah has called for fearlessness, more than thrice since landing in Colombo, but their fears are obvious as the bunch has been forced to cop one loss after the other, especially in the shortest format (in their past 14 T20Is, Bangladesh have won only one).

With their batsmen struggling to keep up the run-rate through the middle overs, they would either need to go ballistic in the powerplay or improve their game through the experience of Mushfiqur Rahim and the captain himself in the middle overs. And Tigers looked to achieve all during their win against Sri Lanka that will surely give them back their confidence as they seemed to have turned the table against all odds. As much as winning is a habit, losing too is, and unfortunately for Bangladesh, they have been caught in a convolution that has resulted into successive defeats that eventually began to inflict self doubts.

After a promising start in the triangular series at home, Bangladesh lost to Sri Lanka in the final. Subsequently, Sri Lanka’s momentum spilled into the two-match Test and T20I series too, during which the hosts were subjected to further embarrassment.

A change in venue offers them a fresh canvas, and also relieves them off the direct pressures of playing in front of enthusiastic fans from back home all time low since one loss after another since the beginning of the New Year.’We desperately wanted to win a match,’ Tamim Iqbal told reporters after the game.

‘From support staff to cricketers everyone were looking to do something good so that we can win a game,’ said Tamim. ‘It is certainly something special,’ he said. ‘We were disappointed after the last series because we don’t believe that we are as bad as we are performing while we failed to do well in the opening game here,’ he said ‘We needed this win as it will help us to regain our confidence,’ he concluded.

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