Bangladesh v New Zealand, 5th ODI, Mirpur October 17, 2010

Rubel, Shakib savour the winning habit

ESPNcricinfo staff

Shakib Al Hasan's all-round brilliance and the dominance of Bangladesh's spinners may be the lasting memories from this series, but today both those factors were reduced to secondary roles. On a day when Bangladesh went one better than the series victory, completing a memorable whitewash against a top opposition, it was Rubel Hossain's abilities with new ball and old that made the difference.

Defending a decidedly under-par 174, Rubel had more than played his part in his opening spell, nipping out New Zealand's top three batsmen in his first three overs. New Zealand's resilience had, however, brought them back into the game and Rubel was called on for the final over against a rampant Kyle Mills, with seven runs to defend.

Rubel would have had a sense of déjà vu as he ran in for that last over. When Mills slammed the first ball for four, Rubel would have remembered the fateful tri-series final against Sri Lanka last year, in the same ground, when Muttiah Muralitharan's targeted onslaught against him in the batting Powerplay stopped Bangladesh inches short of their most memorable cricketing moment.

Things were about to turn out differently today, though. Two inch-perfect yorkers on leg stump followed, the second one cleaning up Mills and sending Mirpur into a frenzy. Rubel later revealed that he never felt the pressure, even after that boundary ball.

"I thought it was only a matter of one good delivery and it never really crossed my mind that we could lose," he said. "The captain also told me that they need four runs and we needed one wicket and that it was my day and he believed I could win the match for Bangladesh."

Shakib would have had a sense of déjà vu of his own; this was not the first time he was taking over the reins from an injured Mashrafe Mortaza to lead his side to a whitewash. The same template had been followed when Bangladesh beat West Indies 3-0 last year. "Maybe you should ask him to get injured in a series again and then we'll try to find out if this formula works every time", Shakib said light-heartedly. "When I bat I don't think of myself as a captain with specific or special responsibilities. I just play my own game. Similarly, when bowling I try to pick the best bowler to bowl in a particular situation and if that bowler happens to be me then I come in."

With four wins this series, Bangladesh have emphatically addressed their previous inability to build on hitherto sporadic victories against top sides. Shakib said it was the winning habit, developed on the back of three authoritative performances, that stood his side in good stead despite a poor total today.

"We didn't have a defendable total and yet the moment the first wicket fell there was a buzz in the field and we believed we could pull this game back our way," Shakib said. "This was a result of the three victories in a row. Often in the past with a similar score I have seen shoulders dropping and the belief disappearing but today we saw what winning teams are made of."

Shakib was also careful enough not to get too caught up in the euphoria of the victory and ignore the areas for improvement. "I still think our top-order batting was not up to the mark as we lost wickets at the wrong times. We want atleast one of the top four batsmen to get to a good score and try to hold the innings together. Apart from the second game where we chased that did not happen in this series.

"The bowling and fielding was satisfactory but you can always improve on that. We also did not execute the Powerplays very well and often we found ourselves with too many wickets down when the last Powerplay arrived. Ideally you should have five or six wickets in hand when the final Powerplay starts."

The 4-0 scoreline brought Bangladesh within a few decimal points of toppling West Indies from the eighth spot in the ODI ratings. The upcoming series against Zimbabwe will give them a chance to push ahead and Shakib knew the importance of that tour.

"We should definitely continue working hard and prepare for the next series against Zimbabwe in December," he said. "They are a much improved side and although we have had a stranglehold over them in the last few years the matches often have been quite competitive. They are also playing pretty well in South Africa although the results haven't gone their way."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Z on October 19, 2010, 11:15 GMT

    To all people who still claim Bangladesh is a minnow and lowly .......hope this result has caught your eye....and from a famous quote by a cricinfo commentator to all these people "TAKE THAT AND PARTY"

  • Z on October 19, 2010, 11:11 GMT

    New Zealand Cricket Teams Downfall :Made in Bangladesh.

    Great effort by the Kiwis in the last 2 games. Lucky for them one of the games was washed out.

    Hail the tigers!

  • sanin on October 18, 2010, 18:00 GMT

    I must say County Cricket has polished SHAKIB AL HASAN really well, he is more patient than before. His is more matured by playing 1 or 2 matches in county league, i wonder what would happen if BCB can arrange several matches against county clubs.

  • Dummy4 on October 18, 2010, 16:42 GMT

    This is a small step for BGD cricket, we need to continue to play competetive cricket consistently. We are a young team that continues to develop, we have to keep the core(shakib, tamim,junaid, mahmadullah, rubel, shafiul, mushy) together as a unit for next five years and the icc rankings will have BGD in the top 5. Forget Ash, he is not the future of cricket in Bangladesh. Outside of Shakib and Tamim I don't feel other players can play in county. But BCCI should set up tours in the UK/australia/SA against county teams to get experience in between tours.Bangladesh domestic league is not good for our national team players because that league is too weak and it doesn't have the level of competition needed at the national level, it sets them up with bad habits. Coach Siddons should be more involved in our domestic league to scout for good talent, he has a better eye than our selectors and BCCI should pay him the extra money for him to do this, he needs to be highly involved.

  • sanin on October 18, 2010, 15:35 GMT

    I can see a fellow reader has pointed out an excuse, he wrote 'This series has been more a case of NZ not adapting to the conditions and getting worse, rather than Bangladesh getting a lot better".

    Well obviously BD is a very brittle team when matches are played overseas.....but thanks a lot now i would try to calm myself when BD players don't perform overseas by saying "" its more of case of BD not adapting to condition rather ran NZ being a very good team"''''

  • Dummy4 on October 18, 2010, 14:10 GMT

    As per ICC ODI ranking (Alrounder cat) before the NZ series Shakib's point was 382 but after the NZ series Shakib's point's still showing 382.Now tell me where is the update of Shakib's point.Authority should look in to the matter.

  • Shiv on October 18, 2010, 13:42 GMT

    @banglamade. easy buddy easy. i know this is the first time that Bdesh has a won a series so relax and savour the moment. Dont get too cocky and start making ridiculous comments. Deep down in your heart you know exactly where b'desh stands. So take it easy dude. As far as the win goes, yes it is truely an achievement, 4-0 whitewash against a full strength NZ team is not a joke, so well done Bdesh. This is boost their confidence a lot for the WC.

  • Inazir on October 18, 2010, 10:39 GMT

    as a srilankan bangla fan, I have been waiting for this sort of a performance from bangla. @ Meety, its a good team mate, but where is rubel hussain. I had been following bangla domestic cricket as well. One guy who deserves a spot in this team is Shuvagato Hom, he is a consistent performer for Dhaka. Because its too late to make changes before world cup, BCC selectors have to consider Hom after world cup. also waiting to see anamul haque playing for bangla. Watching him playing, he is little master who has the talent to rewrite the record books.

  • Ashraful on October 18, 2010, 10:04 GMT

    Congratz 2 Bangladesh team 4 their xcellent per4mance in the series. i think there should b some changes in the line up. I would prefer Alok Kapali replacing Raquibul. Bcoz Raquibul hasn't per4med well enough 2 retain his place in the 1day team. So it's better 2 have Kapali replacing him. Kapalis' leg spin ability will gve BD a newer variation in the team. I will also prefer Aftab in the team replacing Junaid. Mushfiq will bat at 3 and Aftab will b at 7. This will give Bangladesh a chance to have a big hitter for batting powerplay. When Tamim and Masrafee will b fit 2 play, they will replace Imrul and Shafiul. I also do support that BD players should look 2 play in English/Australian/SA counties rather than IPL. Bcoz IPL will gve them only money bt not improve their ability 2 play in all version of cricket which the county will provide. But I still do believe that Shakib and Tamim will have a good offer in the IPL. Bt they also must focus for county cricket 2 improve their game.

  • amit on October 18, 2010, 8:44 GMT

    @banglamade ........unnecessary comment on a bad one

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