Sri Lanka in Bangladesh 2008-09 January 1, 2009

Shakib aims to build on success

Cricinfo staff

Shakib Al Hasan is bowled for 96 after causing Sri Lanka a few nervous moments © AFP
Shakib Al Hasan, the Bangladesh allrounder, is eager to build on his impressive performance in the first Test against Sri Lanka. His second-innings 96 gave the home side an outside chance of chasing down a record-breaking 521 for victory, but although they came up short it was a timely show of competitiveness from Bangladesh.

Shakib's all-round success - he claimed five wickets in the first innings - capped off a fine 2008 as he became one of Bangladesh's leading players. In the series against New Zealand in October he claimed 7 for 36, the best figures by a Bangladesh bowler in Tests.

"What I always said was that I enjoy cricket. I feel good when I enter the ground. That's it," he told the Daily Star. "My performance has been improving day by day and there will be something happening if I can continue the trend."

However, Shakib's personal delight in being named Man of the Match was tempered by another defeat, as Bangladesh remain with just a solitary Test victory to their name. "There was dissatisfaction for not reaching the hundred and getting the victory. But still the team comes first to me because at one stage it seemed that it's possible to achieve the target."

Towards the end of last year there were the occasional signs that Bangladesh were becoming more competitive in the Test arena. They were in a position to win the first Test against New Zealand and had South Africa struggling at Centurion Park before both matches ran away from them.

But Shakib believes a tough few months of action is now benefiting the team in the current series. "The other thing is that we played well at home because we are playing this series after a tough tour in South Africa."

Mahela Jayawardene, the Sri Lanka captain, praised the efforts of Bangladesh's batsmen during their run chase. "They batted very well, especially the middle order and the lower middle-order," he said. "[Mohammad] Ashraful, Shakib [Al Hasan] and [Mushfiqur] Rahim at the end batted very well and credit to them."

The second Test begins in Chittagong on January 3 before a triangular one-day series also involving Zimbabwe, who then remain in Bangladesh for three further ODIs.