Gazi hails Bangladesh's winning mentality
Sohag Gazi, the Man of the Match in Bangladesh's 40-run win over New Zealand on Thursday, has highlighted the team's self-belief after they defended 247 in Mirpur.
After New Zealand had slipped to 45 for 3 in their chase, Ross Taylor and Corey Anderson added 61 before the latter guided the ball towards slip, only to see wicketkeepr Mushfiqur Rahim dive across to his left and grab the half-chance. Gazi attributed his wicket to the patience that Bangladesh had developed as a result of their new-found confidence.
"The turning point was when we broke that partnership," Gazi said. "We didn't give up, thinking that a stand like that is inevitable. We tried to build on dot balls, and made them commit a mistake.
"We could win today because we believed that it was possible to defend 247. The coach [Shane Jurgensen] and captain [Mushfiqur] told us before we went out on to the field that everything is possible today. We had to give 100% to make it possible."
Before the 61-run stand, Bangladesh had grabbed the initiative early on in the New Zealand innings. Mashrafe Mortaza quickly removed Hamish Rutherford, before Gazi made way for Rubel Hossain after bowling one over. Gazi came back in the ninth over, and shortly afterwards, caught Anton Devcich's simple offering off his own bowling. Abdur Razzak worked on that opening by dismissing Grant Elliott.
"I am accustomed to bowl with the new ball," Gazi said. "That is how I started my career and I remember Saqlain [Mushtaq] bhai telling me at the time that all spinners are hammered but I should bowl to my strength. I do the same with the new ball, and I hardly have any trouble."
The Bangladesh spinners got less turn than is expected from typical sub-continental tracks, as the pitches on this tour have been generally slow, and offer low bounce. New Zealand have often said that it was a challenge to bat on these surfaces, but Gazi believes that the Bangladesh spinners did well despite the conditions, rather than because of it.
"If we took home advantage, the ball would have turned miles. We could have taken it in the Test series, but as you have seen, it didn't help us.
"We have to play on any wicket we are asked to do so, whether it is a turning wicket or a flat one. The toss is a matter of luck, because we have to be prepared for any kind of situation."
Gazi was adjudged Man of the Match for picking up three scalps, as well as scoring a vital 26 when Bangladesh had lost quick wickets and slipped to 173 for 6.
"The team needed me to score today, and because I could do something substantial, I was chosen the best in the match," he said. "I think this team has players who will do their respective jobs very well. Rubel did well in the last game. Nobody relies on one person. We have to go ahead like this, so that someone or the other stands up when needed."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here