TRI-SERIES IN IRELAND
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza believes the tri-series win will spur his team on in the upcoming 2019 World Cup © AFP
Twenty one years after writing their name in the history books for their first-ever ODI win against Kenya, Bangladesh have done it again by winning a multi-nation tournament for the first time, as they beat West Indies in the final of the tri-series held in Ireland.In a rain-truncated game, Bangladesh saw past some tense moments to overcome the D/L method-set 210-run target in 24 overs with 7 balls to spare.
Soumya Sarkar and Mosaddek Hossain played key roles in the historic win and broke the final hoodoo despite West Indies threatening to turn the tide with a flurry of wickets. That wasn’t an impossible task considering Bangladesh’s track record of messing up in finals but they somehow held their nerve this time.
Winning a major trophy remained elusive for Bangladesh, despite being in such finals on six occasions in the last 10 years.
Bangladesh had their first major heartbreak when they failed to cross the last hurdle during their appearance in the first tri-nation final in 2009 involving Sri-Lanka and Zimbabwe. They next fell short against Pakistan in the 2012 Asia Cup and to India four years later in the same final. They suffered the worst of these results in 2018 – losing to Sri Lanka in the tri-series final in Zimbabwe, falling dramatically short against India in the Nidahas Trophy final in Sri Lanka and then losing off the last ball to India in the Asia Cup 2018 final in Dubai.
Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza believed this was just the beginning for the team and hoped they carry on forward from here and leave the past disappointment behind.
“Yes obviously it is a great feeling,” said Mortaza, who already announced that the 2019 World Cup will be his last. “Hopefully it is just the start and we will continue [in this manner in the future],” he said. “It’s been a long time we didn’t win [any final] but eventually we won it on the seventh time.”
“The wicket was really good and when we bowled, we understood it’s favoring the batsman. Tamim and Soumya gave us a really good start, Mushy batted really well in the middle while Mosaddek and Riyadh finished it really well,” he added.
The win didn’t just allow Bangladesh to get rid of the ‘chokers’ tag, but also served as a satisfying end to the build-up to their World Cup campaign. The way Bangladesh batsman played throughout the tournament was an indication that there will be positive intent on dispay at the World Cup in England. Bangladesh are said to be lacking hitting powers unlike some of the other cricketing nation and this specific area is considered as a major concern for them in the upcoming global tournament.
However, Mortaza reckoned the wins in the tri-series will add to the players’ confidence when they find themselves in a tough situation at the showpiece tournament.
“The World Cup will be really challenging for us,” Mortaza said. “These tough wins will really give us a big boost and we will be confident chasing or putting up big totals,” he said.
Man of the match Mosaddek Hossain, who replaced Shakib Al Hasan in the playing XI after the latter was rested due to the side strain, echoed this sentiment.
Mossadek, who is considered a representative of the next generation of cricketers who are likely to take up the major responsibility of the team in the coming years, showed he is quite ready to fill up any requirement as none could have replaced Shakib in the team better than him.
“We are going into the World Cup with a good amount of confidence and hopefully it will help us perform well in the tournament,” said Mossadek.
“In England, the wicket will be much better and if I get a chance to bat down the order and play these kind of innings then certainly it will be good for us,” he said.
“During the break seniors [Tamim, Mortaza, Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah] said that the way we batted throughout the tournament if we can stay till the end we can win the game,” he said.
“Naturally it feels good to perform and make contribution in the final but what is more important is that we are well prepared for the World Cup,” he concluded.