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June 13, 2005
Bangladesh's coach, Dav Whatmore, praised his team's professionalism after a morale-boosting four-wicket win over Worcestershire at New Road on Sunday, and hoped that their first victory of the tour would spur them on to similar deeds in the NatWest Series next week.
"It is always nice to have a win," Whatmore told the Press Association, "and never a moment too soon, so we will accept that gratefully and hopefully go on from here. Winning is always a tonic for confidence and for when you look forward to the next game. There are areas to improve but it wasn't easy batting out there."
After bowling Worcestershire out for 168 in 44.1 overs, Bangladesh suffered two damaging batting collapses but refused to buckle, despite the menacing presence of Pakistan's paceman, Shoaib Akhtar, who was making his Worcestershire debut. Javed Omar's solid 43 and Mohammad Ashraful's flashy 39-ball 40 guided them to the brink of victory, before Habibul Bashar and Manjural Islam Rana wrapped up the match.
"The boys battled hard and they won the match which was very pleasing," added Whatmore. "It was professional in the way that they held their nerve." With a gruelling three-week NatWest Series ahead of them, the turnaround in fortune could not be more timely. "If it's your day, you can win. A victory would be a big boost for us because we are up against two good teams."
It wasn't quite such a good day for Whatmore's opposite number, Tom Moody. After 14 years as a player and coach at New Road, he is leaving to take up his new post as coach of Sri Lanka - a role that Whatmore also filled with great distinction. "The journey began at Worcester for me in 1991," he said afterwards. "I would never have anticipated that I would play as long as I did play in county cricket and I would never have dreamt I would come back here coaching.
"This move to Sri Lanka certainly wasn't something that was planned," he added. "But it is such a good opportunity for me. I can be considered quite young as a coach but it's such a good opportunity and Sri Lanka are an excellent side and there is room for them to continue to improve."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Plays of the Day from the second ODI between England and India, in Cardiff
Plays of the day from the third ODI between England and India at Trent Bridge
Plays of the day from the tri-series match between Zimbabwe and South Africa
Would he have fared better than the incumbent middle-order batsmen, Root and Ballance?