Bangladesh Premier League 2012-13 February 20, 2013

Mashrafe praises young talent

Mashrafe Mortaza, captain of Dhaka Gladiators, said that the strength of individual players pushed his team to a second BPL trophy, in spite of the pressure of expectations weighing heavily on them. Dhaka defended their title on Tuesday after Chittagong collapsed towards the end of their innings, losing their last five wickets in just 21 balls.

In the mayhem that usually follows a title win in Mirpur, Mashrafe led his team on a lap of honour to thank the full house that turned up on the weekday. This second triumph was always on the cards for a team that was much better on paper than any of the other BPL sides. Dhaka emerged as favourites after the player auction, when they targeted the biggest names at home and several foreign Twenty20 specialists.

Their efforts culminated in nine wins in 12 league stage matches along with two victories in the knockout phase. They edged out Sylhet Royals, who ran them close despite Chris Gayle's stunning century, before opening up a fair distance between them and the Kings in the final.

"There were expectations, and the pressure that comes along with it," Mashrafe said. "But most of our players performed, which is the most important aspect of a champion side. There was extra pressure on us because we are defending champions, but we overcame that with performances throughout the tournament."

"In Twenty20s, the big names don't matter all the time. It is what you do on the day that will dictate how your tournament goes. I think our younger and less-experienced guys did well. For example, [Anamul Haque] Bijoy batted wherever I asked him to, and he made the runs as well."

Mohammad Ashraful, Anamul and Shakib Al Hasan all made more than 300 runs in the tournament. Shakib won the man-of-the-tournament award for his 329 runs and 15 wickets while Anamul played an excellent innings in the final. Among the bowlers, South African Alfonso Thomas finished as the tournament's top wicket-taker with 20 scalps while Mosharraf Hossain, the man-of-the-match in the final, finished with 17.

Mashrafe also lauded Shakib for performing when the chips were down. "Shakib is a big player, he lets us drop a batsman or a bowler any day because he does both jobs so well. He was a big help throughout, especially when the top order didn't perform or when we needed to slow things down with the ball," he said.

Chittagong captain, Mahmudullah rued the injuries to Jacob Oram and Kevon Cooper, which resulted in them bringing in two little-known Sri Lankan players, Shehan Jayasuriya and Dilhara Lokuhettige. But he conceded that Dhaka played a far superior game.

"Credit must go to Dhaka, for the way they played. I think we pulled it back well after they were 90-odd after ten overs. But we missed Oram and Cooper, and I am not blaming the two new guys for the loss.

"The spell from Mosharraf Hossain was also vital, and in those four overs, we lost four wickets. It was a tough situation to recover from," said Mahmudullah.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ekram on February 21, 2013, 21:37 GMT

    I still cant figure out why the Ctg Kings didn't play Naeem Islam, a genuine performer with the bat, ball and a superior fielder. They really could've used his skill of taking tough catches and not dropping easy once either.

  • Dummy4 on February 21, 2013, 5:28 GMT

    @hassanazh...mashrafee is a player who has had injuries all his 13 years career in cricekt, he's a true fighter, thats why he comes back..only our shakib is enough to defeat any team! we dont even need anyone else!

  • Hassan on February 20, 2013, 12:02 GMT

    I have no concern about comments but yes I found one comment funny from Joy Raha... They have Steyn and Philander in every house. But still they are asking Mashrafe (who is just a 2nd liner bowler) to lead a team and start bowling at international level...

  • Dummy4 on February 20, 2013, 11:58 GMT

    mashrafe bro you played very good i was in the stadium last night i think you can become a great alrounder

  • Mondrita on February 20, 2013, 11:44 GMT

    I really enjoyed the BPL, personally. Though the final turned out to be a bit one-sided, I thought Dhaka and Sylhet were both very strong teams. Maybe the final would have been more fun with the Royals.

    Looking forward to the next one. Cheers.

  • Dummy4 on February 20, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    lolzz must be joke of millenium.. can't stop laughing.. srilankans and bangladeshi are very good at words only

  • Abdul on February 20, 2013, 7:52 GMT

    @Albert... How funny your comments is!

  • Dummy4 on February 20, 2013, 5:43 GMT

    dude, steyn and philander can be found in every house of Dhaka..but they dont get enough chance like steyn and philander does..we always have to work really hard to get to where we reach..and lets face your styen with our batsmen...just because Steyn took some wickets against pakistan, doesnt mean we r the same! we are a far better team than them!

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