Bangladesh v New Zealand, 2nd ODI, Mirpur

Bangladesh discover new match-winners

Bangladesh have moved on from a one-man show to a team that has a new performer on a daily basis. That they won yet another home series without Shakib Al Hasan shows their progress

Mohammad Isam in Mirpur

October 31, 2013

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The Bangladesh team celebrate their series victory, Bangladesh v New Zealand, 2nd ODI, Mirpur, October 31, 2013
Bangladesh's ODI side has started posing stiff challenges to touring teams © AFP
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Bangladesh won another home ODI series against a higher-ranked team by believing in their abilities. They batted first after winning the toss in Mirpur where, in late October, dew is already a major factor, particularly for the finger spinners. They used four of those in their chosen conditions, the most effective of whom opened the bowling at one end. Their injury prone fast bowler also came through. They won the second match with unconventional, yet useful methods.

Mushfiqur Rahim showed a lot of confidence in his main spinners, Sohag Gazi and Abdur Razzak, in deciding to bat first. Both bowled accurately, didn't let the wet ball be too much of a distraction and ensured they remained calm after every big hit. The wicket of Ross Taylor was a good example of how much Gazi has progressed as an international cricketer, and how quickly he learns.

Taylor had smashed him for a six, and like the first game on Tuesday, it would have been easy for Gazi to continue firing them in as a defensive ploy, hoping to restrict the batsman to ground strokes. This time he tossed it up outside the off stump, and Taylor chipped it down long-on's throat. He was lucky to pick up James Neesham's wicket with a short ball, but it was the build-up that often gets bowlers wickets. He also ended Anton Devcich's misery (he scored 19 off 44 balls) with an easy caught and bowled chance and a few words.

Razzak dismissed Grant Elliott, the highest-scorer from the first match, with a flattish delivery that went straight, the batsman caught plumb in front. Razzak may have contributed only one wicket, but his discipline and leadership skills have been recently praised by the Bangladesh management.

Mushfiqur's gamble with Mominul Haque also paid off, his two wickets a bonus for the team. These series wins are important for Bangladesh's growth as they have done it without their main allrounder, Shakib Al Hasan. He was also out of the squad with injury when they won 3-2 last year against West Indies in the ODI series.

The team should be most pleased with Mashrafe Mortaza's performance over the two games. He is known for missing more international matches than playing during his 12-year career but this latest comeback has begun very well.

He was the quiet performer in the first game, making sure his transition from injury to rehabilitation to match fitness was smooth. His three-wicket haul on Thursday was his first since April 2011, and his best bowling figures since July 2010. His first spell kept the two left-handed New Zealand openers on tenterhooks, and he soon accounted for the miserably out of form Hamish Rutherford. He continued to be accurate, but when he gave width to Corey Anderson in his second spell, the edge was snapped up by a diving Mushfiqur.

When you have a player with a history of major injuries and one who has to resettle almost every year, exiting suddenly after a comeback, it has two different effects in a team. Mortaza and his team-mates have experienced both, like when he felt unwelcome more three years ago when he made a comeback. But Mushfiqur's catch said that the team wanted to do something for their rickety warrior.

Bangladesh have their concerns too. Like their counterparts, the Bangladesh batsmen struggled to convert good starts into big scores, were poor in the batting Powerplay and didn't have the flourish in the end overs. They took a chance by handing Shamsur Rahman a debut in such a crucial match. The right-handed batsman didn't have the best of starts but it was progressive thinking to break a winning combination, knowing fully well how the public and media would react if Shamsur failed like Anamul Haque.

Mominul, Tamim Iqbal and the rest of the batsmen all flattered to deceive, as they didn't bat for long or put together a big stand. Even during their problematic phase, at 173 for 6 in the 39th over, two batsmen stood up. Gazi and Mahmudullah added 48 precious runs that got them past the 200-run mark.

Bangladesh have moved on from a one-man show to a team that has a new performer on a daily basis. Someone or the other stands up. Mominul and Gazi did so in the Chittagong Test while in Mirpur, Tamim batted out of his comfort zone to guide his team to safety. Rubel Hossain did it on Tuesday with his best performance in international cricket. Today it was Mortaza, Gazi, Tamim and Mominul.

There was a lap of honour at the end of the game, with the players' families converging in the field, and a majority of the crowd that stayed back. The word out was that the Bangladesh players don't celebrate in the dressing-room as much these days. But one can imagine that the players nowadays toast each other's success, rather than one man's.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (November 5, 2013, 12:50 GMT)

Go a head BD. thats time for you

Posted by rtdeb on (November 4, 2013, 8:32 GMT)

if we want to enjoy cricket more, the teams like BD should be given more test matches. Another thing is that while BD beat the big teams like India, Sri Lanka, and winning series against West Indies and New Zealand, why do they need to play qualifying round ??? It appears to me very strange !!!

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 5:52 GMT)

I think BD should play more tests, ODIs. I request Isam to write something about the comparison of number of matches played by BD and other countries. Now, we are capable of beating any team, then why not play more matches... I hope we will win the upcoming Asia Cup and do a great job in World T20 too.

Posted by shanazpk on (November 2, 2013, 15:13 GMT)

todays bangladesh team has 7 world class players in mushfiqur,shakib,tamim,mominul,nasir,gazi,mushraffe, whereas earlier times there have never been more than 2

Posted by kiwicricketnut on (November 2, 2013, 9:47 GMT)

@ Warm_Coffee their is nothing wrong with losing to zimbabwe, world cricket would be pretty boring if the big guys were not beaten from time to time, i think my point may have been missed, i like the fact that bangladesh is becoming a force in world cricket, more so in the one dayers but more test success usually follows odi success, so i don't think your team is to far off winning test matches. Teams certainly play better in conditions they are use to, i have no doubt bangladesh would be far stronger in india than australia just like we are better in conditions more like our own, we have had very little success on the sub continent, always struggled there probably always will. Most teams are stronger at home than abroad, losing to you guys is not a disgrace but its still dissapointing. You see i don't have a problem with bangladesh cricket, just some of there fans who talk trash and disrespect nz cricket, i only spoke of facts not once did i insult your team, not like Lermy.

Posted by Warm_Coffee on (November 2, 2013, 8:18 GMT)

@kiwicricketnut: I don't understand what's the big deal if Bangladesh loses games in Zimbabwe. Pakistan also lost a one-day game and test to them and obviously they are much much better than Bangladesh. Its not like Bangladesh gets the opportunity to play away to such places that's the problem. If my memory serves me right when New Zealand last toured Zimbabwe they lost the final one-day game. Yes lost 11 in a row in New Zealand but that was a long time ago and the Bangladesh team is completely different now. You should be ashamed you have lost 6 times in a row lol against Bangladesh that's the problem. There's nothing impressive if New Zealand beats England and South Africa since conditions and pitches are pretty similar to your country. When was last time New Zealand won a series in the subcontinent?

Posted by   on (November 2, 2013, 7:47 GMT)

The BD players are now performing both on and off fields fingering at media saying that media circulated the term " Bangla wash" in place of cricketing word " white-wash". Our boys found to be more mature and confident while they are now address public media. The fact is pretty clear - "no defeat" 2 tests and 2 ODIs so far. Only sad news so far is -crowds reported to be in clashes for tickets for last match entry; it is a common scene in every good tournaments in Bangladesh but we do not hope to see any bullet for this passion as happened yesterday to stop the crazy fans. I think BCB now to take different strategy to boost up BD ranking position by inviting more teams in BD and generating some better performance at home conditions rather struggling in foreign conditions. Regarding NZ it seems to me that they are just having a bad times as their so far display of show in 2 tests and 2 ODIs and it would be great to see a big contest in last ODI and solitary T20 match.

Posted by Spash65 on (November 2, 2013, 7:06 GMT)

Now time has come to build up bouncy pitches for the domestic competition, so that Bangladesh could come up with decent pace attack and also it will enable their batsman to perform in the bouncy tracks while touring abroad. Bangladesh can also build a pacer academy just like India did and it will find decent pacers from the root levels since cricket at Bangladesh is very much centralised and if any one doesn't come dhaka for playing cricket his talents will remain unnoticed there in Bangladesh.

Posted by bdsmaruf on (November 2, 2013, 7:00 GMT)

3rd game will be very tough, nz are hungry to win,but I think at last bd will win and nz will get 0-3.

Posted by kiwicricketnut on (November 2, 2013, 6:26 GMT)

Again Lermy with the nonsense, i tried giving you some facts but i doesn't seem to sink in, maybe you are ranked below us because you can't even win away from home to zimbabwe, yet in recent times we have beaten heavy weights south africa and england in their back yards, i tried to remind you and other bangladesh fans that bangladesh has lost 11 in a row in nz and neutral venues, still the rants continue about how we couldn't beat the dutch, i would argue till im blue in the face that your team struggles more in foreign conditions than us. I don't want to try and steel any of the bangladesh's supporters thunder because they deserve to be happy about the situation they are in with another series win, but i can't tolerate nonsense comments like that without trying to give them a reality check. Please Lermy reign in the bs its gone beyond annoying, its just disrespectfull.

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