Jubilant Bangladesh revel in team effort
After Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah were mobbed by team-mates and staff on their way to the dressing room after completing the five-wicket win over India, there was a small discussion about a lap of honour as they neared the viewing area. Somebody within the huddle, made entirely of the playing XI, thought it was not necessary and they all headed indoors.
The result was finally sinking in as the players went out for the presentation ceremony. Shafiul Islam was walking gingerly with his right arm in a sling but enjoying the moment as much as the rest. Everyone was smiling. Mashrafe Mortaza was gesturing at his family in the grandstand, a beaming Jahurul Islam was speaking to an elderly journalist, Tamim Iqbal was urging a close friend to come and hug him, while Nasir Hossain was quipping that since he hadn't danced in a long time, this was a good time to shake a leg.
Bangladesh cricket had reason to rejoice for their biggest worry, the batting, was their strength on the day. Tamim and Jahurul added 113 runs for the second wicket, a solid foundation for a stiff target. Even after they fell in the space five overs, there was Nasir to support Shakib, and later Mushfiqur. They played innings that changed the game and won it for Bangladesh.
"It was the team's win. Four or five players have to perform for us to win and that's exactly what happened," Shakib said after the game. "We have to increase the number of contributors from one or two to four or five regularly. If we can improve these small things, we can get much better in the days to come.
"We have to win games regularly and not occasionally. Then everyone will rate us properly. If we don't win, we are not counted. If we can win big games, our playing quality will improve."
Mushfiqur credited his bowlers for performing during a crucial phase in the first innings, when they did not let India get away to an insurmountable total. "If Raj bhai [Abdur Razzak] and Mashrafe bhai didn't bowl so well at that stage and conceded another 20 runs, we were gone. But hats off to them," Mushfiqur said. "It might not sound too big for others but it was important for us. 300 to 320 would have been difficult to chase for us."
Despite the bowlers keeping calm at the death, especially with MS Dhoni posing a threat, the real test was going to be the batting. But Tamim fired for the second game in a row, Jahurul found peace at the crease, while Nasir got another opportunity to win a game for his country. Before Nasir holed out with the game almost won, Shakib and Mushfiqur had found hitting easy because of his presence at the other end.
Sachin Tendulkar also had some kind words for Bangladesh's young cricketers. "I feel it is a good team, an underrated team," Tendulkar said. "People still talk of Bangladesh as if they don't know how to play cricket. They have a good side; even against Pakistan the match got close. So that is proof of them being a better side.
"They've played international cricket for quite some time now; not that they just started. They've got some good players. I felt Shakib changed the momentum."
Mohammad Isam is senior sports reporter at the Daily Star in Dhaka