Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 3rd ODI, Pallekele March 28, 2013

'I would still call it a calculative chase' - Mushfiqur

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Bangladesh's captain Mushfiqur Rahim called his side's hustling victory against Sri Lanka a "calculative chase". It did not seem so deliberate. They won by three wickets to level the ODI series 1-1, but only after many moments of panic in the dressing room and out in the middle.

Following a rain break of more than two hours, the equation for Bangladesh was to score another 105 runs in 13.2 overs from a position of 78 for 1 in 13.4 overs. They lost six wickets in the process and some of the batsmen looked too eager to finish off the game. But the staying power of Nasir Hossain, amid the tension, gave them the edge.

"We wanted to play cricketing shots to get a 30-40 run partnership up early," Mushfiqur said. "We are not used to playing in such tight circumstances against such tough opponents, so I think some of us panicked. I would still call it a calculative chase because we took risks and lost some wickets, but in the end we had one guy holding things together."

The underlying theme of this series has been how poor Bangladesh's resources has been. They lost several players to injuries, but the biggest were those to Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal and Mashrafe Mortaza. These are senior players in a very young team that does not win often and yet carries the swelling expectations of a cricket-mad nation.

To beat Sri Lanka in their backyard has given Mushfiqur the pride to tell his players that all is not automatically lost when the stars are absent. "If Shakib was here, he could have won the man-of-the-series award probably, because he has done it quite a number of times in the past," Mushfiqur said. "But some of the others have stepped up this time. The team will now believe that without big stars, Bangladesh can still do well."

The captain also showed appreciation for Nasir who has progressed into a batsman keen to finish games off during tight chases. "Hats off to Nasir," Mushfiqur said. "I firmly believe that he can break all batting records in the Bangladesh team if he continues in this vein. He has played really well. He does well when the team needs him to score. It is his most important trait."

With such a long gap between what effectively was two parts to the game, it was easy to forget Abdur Razzak's earlier achievement, and the unassuming manner in which he led the attack. The left-arm spinner finished with his fourth five-wicket haul in ODIs, which held back Sri Lanka's surge towards an even bigger score. More significantly for Razzak, his fifth wicket on the day was also his 200th in ODIs for Bangladesh.

Mushfiqur was full of praise. "I congratulate Razzak bhai for becoming the first bowler from Bangladesh to take 200 wickets. He is a tough guy, and he can bowl at the top and at the end so well. Sometimes bowlers feel uncomfortable at certain situations, but he has never said no to me."

The manner in which Mushfiqur managed to get the best out of the five bowlers will remain as a notch in the captain's belt. The spinners impressed and the pace bowlers just about managed to get away with their ten overs, but it was the management of these spells that was vital in keeping Sri Lanka quiet after such a good start, and in taking wickets later when the final slog was supposed to be in full swing.

"I wanted to use Mominul or Nasir, but they had a partnership going till the 35th over," Mushfiqur said. "Using occasional bowler against set batsmen would have been tough on them given the fielding restrictions these days."

Bangladesh take on Sri Lanka one last time on this tour, in a Twenty20 game at the Pallekele International Stadium on March 31.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Lakpj on | March 30, 2013, 4:35 GMT

    Not sure whether it was a calculative effort, if not for Nasir they would have messed up this run chase badly. Anyway Bangladesh seems to be on the right track, but they should not be over confident, that would be their biggest downfall.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 19:37 GMT

    Posted by shuvotamzid on (March 29, 2013, 10:15 GMT)

    Well said Mushfiqur but i still believe there were some miscalculations in the middle. But then again at the end of the day we won... So i guess that's fine... Bangladesh is heading towards becoming one of major teams in world cricket, whoever denies it and calls us minnow doesn't understand cricket properly. So let them speak. Keep it going guys. :)

    hahahahaha !!

  • POSTED BY Energetic. on | March 29, 2013, 18:15 GMT

    Nasir Hossain is a special young player Bangladesh have produced. I personally feel he should bat ahead of Rahim in ODIs everytime. I remember Nasir came ahead of Rahim against India last year and both of them smashed their bowlers to all parts. Its all about strategies.

  • POSTED BY hystericalnaive on | March 29, 2013, 17:26 GMT

    @TheRisingTeam, The past record shows it all, Winning one match out of 20 is not good enough. :P , Less said the better about BD Test Cricket performance. They need atleast 20 years to come to terms with International standard.

  • POSTED BY KingOwl on | March 29, 2013, 17:04 GMT

    There is no doubt BD has improved quite a bit. There is also no doubt that SL's young side led by an inexperienced captain has a lot to learn. I think there is no reason why BD should not have a strong batting side. But they will struggle with bowling, just like India or Sri Lanka (at least in test cricket). I think they deserved to win this match. It could have been very different if they had to chase the full 300+. But that is cricket. So, SL will have to take it on the chin.

  • POSTED BY TheRisingTeam on | March 29, 2013, 17:03 GMT

    @hystericalnaive:- Beating India, Sri Lanka, West Indies, New Zealand, England etc in the last 2 years is not once in a blue moon wake up!!! :P

  • POSTED BY hystericalnaive on | March 29, 2013, 16:33 GMT

    I think these victories once in 16 matches really shows why the interest is so less when BD team plays international teams. That too they need rain. I think most important is consistency. That's why i Feel in champions trophy, just like Hockey , there should be a minimum qualification of at least showing some winning habits and not once in a blue moon victory.

  • POSTED BY shuvotamzid on | March 29, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    Well said Mushfiqur but i still believe there were some miscalculations in the middle. But then again at the end of the day we won... So i guess that's fine...

    Bangladesh is heading towards becoming one of major teams in world cricket, whoever denies it and calls us minnow doesn't understand cricket properly. So let them speak. Keep it going guys. :)

  • POSTED BY accalzhd on | March 29, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    @Sichu_emerald

    Thanks for the support and the kind words. I appreciate the spirit of cricket that you've displayed. I mean the exchanges should be friendly or at most good natured banter between different sets of supporters. Not the caustic bile that some people spew. I hope we can all enjoy the games together and make each other feel happy rather than getting each other riled up. Thanks again. As BD supporter I am loving the gradual and consistent improvement my team is showing. Keep at it guys

  • POSTED BY nzmrana on | March 29, 2013, 8:44 GMT

    tamim, jahrul/anamul, ashraful, sakib, mushfiq, mominul, nasir, shohag, mashrafee, razzak, taskin...should be best 11 for Zimbabwe tour

  • POSTED BY Lakpj on | March 30, 2013, 4:35 GMT

    Not sure whether it was a calculative effort, if not for Nasir they would have messed up this run chase badly. Anyway Bangladesh seems to be on the right track, but they should not be over confident, that would be their biggest downfall.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 19:37 GMT

    Posted by shuvotamzid on (March 29, 2013, 10:15 GMT)

    Well said Mushfiqur but i still believe there were some miscalculations in the middle. But then again at the end of the day we won... So i guess that's fine... Bangladesh is heading towards becoming one of major teams in world cricket, whoever denies it and calls us minnow doesn't understand cricket properly. So let them speak. Keep it going guys. :)

    hahahahaha !!

  • POSTED BY Energetic. on | March 29, 2013, 18:15 GMT

    Nasir Hossain is a special young player Bangladesh have produced. I personally feel he should bat ahead of Rahim in ODIs everytime. I remember Nasir came ahead of Rahim against India last year and both of them smashed their bowlers to all parts. Its all about strategies.

  • POSTED BY hystericalnaive on | March 29, 2013, 17:26 GMT

    @TheRisingTeam, The past record shows it all, Winning one match out of 20 is not good enough. :P , Less said the better about BD Test Cricket performance. They need atleast 20 years to come to terms with International standard.

  • POSTED BY KingOwl on | March 29, 2013, 17:04 GMT

    There is no doubt BD has improved quite a bit. There is also no doubt that SL's young side led by an inexperienced captain has a lot to learn. I think there is no reason why BD should not have a strong batting side. But they will struggle with bowling, just like India or Sri Lanka (at least in test cricket). I think they deserved to win this match. It could have been very different if they had to chase the full 300+. But that is cricket. So, SL will have to take it on the chin.

  • POSTED BY TheRisingTeam on | March 29, 2013, 17:03 GMT

    @hystericalnaive:- Beating India, Sri Lanka, West Indies, New Zealand, England etc in the last 2 years is not once in a blue moon wake up!!! :P

  • POSTED BY hystericalnaive on | March 29, 2013, 16:33 GMT

    I think these victories once in 16 matches really shows why the interest is so less when BD team plays international teams. That too they need rain. I think most important is consistency. That's why i Feel in champions trophy, just like Hockey , there should be a minimum qualification of at least showing some winning habits and not once in a blue moon victory.

  • POSTED BY shuvotamzid on | March 29, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    Well said Mushfiqur but i still believe there were some miscalculations in the middle. But then again at the end of the day we won... So i guess that's fine...

    Bangladesh is heading towards becoming one of major teams in world cricket, whoever denies it and calls us minnow doesn't understand cricket properly. So let them speak. Keep it going guys. :)

  • POSTED BY accalzhd on | March 29, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    @Sichu_emerald

    Thanks for the support and the kind words. I appreciate the spirit of cricket that you've displayed. I mean the exchanges should be friendly or at most good natured banter between different sets of supporters. Not the caustic bile that some people spew. I hope we can all enjoy the games together and make each other feel happy rather than getting each other riled up. Thanks again. As BD supporter I am loving the gradual and consistent improvement my team is showing. Keep at it guys

  • POSTED BY nzmrana on | March 29, 2013, 8:44 GMT

    tamim, jahrul/anamul, ashraful, sakib, mushfiq, mominul, nasir, shohag, mashrafee, razzak, taskin...should be best 11 for Zimbabwe tour

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 8:11 GMT

    never forget Bangladesh opening bating partnership. they build the ground of win this game.

  • POSTED BY sichu_emerald on | March 29, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    @ Warm_Coffee and similar others...Comeon guys, when we could not find quality pace bowlers from around 1.2 billion, you guys have really done better to reach the mark...Temperment and Class goes along...it takes little more time guys. You guys are in the right track apart from your Mush's at times bizarre statements, I have always wanted BD to perform well. Way to go...

    Best wishes from a die-hard Indian Fan...

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 7:24 GMT

    we shouldn't act like the other subcontinent teams in evaluating some of the players on the basis of just a few matches.... I've seen some grudges going against Mahmudullah.... just remember that he hasn't achieved a 30 average (both ODIs and Tests) for nothing.... he's out of form, and that doesn't mean that he won't.... remember the exclusion of Tamim before the Asia Cup... the ended up with 4 fifties... form is temporary; class is permanent.... this team is still young... but you have to see that this is almost the same team that was there in 2008-2009... if the selectors sacked them because of the match results, we couldn't have achieved such victories today... you have to give players time to settle.... they're on their way to become professionals.... btw, I support the inclusion of Shamsur, Taskin, Ayub... they're really promising...

  • POSTED BY AnanthX on | March 29, 2013, 7:06 GMT

    Yes, it's good to see Bangladesh play well, once in a way. Hopefully, in 5-10 years Bangladesh will become a somewhat decent limited overs side

  • POSTED BY nzmrana on | March 29, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    Some useless cricketers of Bangladesh- Mahmudullah Riad,Shahadat Hossain,Rubel Hossain,Ziaur Rahman,Abul Raju. BCB please find out their repacement,otherwise Bangladesh Cricket wil suffer. Those cricketers has no class at all.As a selector you must be impertial. Defenitely we have better replacement.Taskin,Muktar Ali, Shamsur must get chance.Niaz Morshed Rana

  • POSTED BY Sadequl on | March 29, 2013, 6:13 GMT

    Congregates Mr.Captain & thanks for giving us the chance of joy momentum once again but surely it was more like "fortunes favors" then "calculative chase" by the team. In international cricket this type of situations will come as regular basis & for which you guys should try to concentrate more on positive cricket rather than practicing such suicidal bating for sure. The way most batsmen went out was quite unacceptable & not understandable while score was easily getable with 9 wickets in hand & it was not beyond reaching target either. We can not say boys didn't have such match practice earlier where as they had such atmosphere in BPL & WI's very recent visit. The way boys faced SL's top gun Malinga don't think they would have been able to stand in the crease if he would have bowled his full quota of his spell. So we would like to see more positive approach in next last T-20 game on the series on Sunday & in-sha-Allah if we work hard & believe on our strength nothing is impossible.

  • POSTED BY AnanthX on | March 29, 2013, 5:07 GMT

    Would Bangladesh have won the match if it hadn't rained?

  • POSTED BY Pickpocket on | March 29, 2013, 4:17 GMT

    Mushfiqur is absolutely right. His plan is worked at the end. He is the heart of the team. Mushfiqur is the heart of Bangladesh.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 2:11 GMT

    congrats bangladesh....you are smellling the victory for the first time....keep it up.....in only 1980 s srilankans too started winnning the series...u (bd) are just starting the same...maintain this tempo and just be one of the top champions country....all the best...

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 2:02 GMT

    Hats off to the boys. While improvement in test matches has been slow (but still noticeable), the ODI performances of the Tigers have come on in leaps in bounds over the last one year, starting with the Asia Cup. But we cannot rest on our laurels...we need to keep going, and anything less than a clean sweep in all formats against Zimbabwe in the upcoming tour will be considered another step back for the team.

  • POSTED BY Fogu on | March 29, 2013, 0:54 GMT

    Nasir is a good find for BD. He should bat at 6 for now and develop his game further. He can be a good number 4 for BD long term.

  • POSTED BY cricankul on | March 29, 2013, 0:11 GMT

    Bangladesh showed us today what they are capable of.Lot of credit goes to abdur razzak and hussain.well done boys.....

  • POSTED BY SylhetiBangladeshiCricketExpert4u on | March 28, 2013, 23:09 GMT

    Only Nasir Hossain Remains Calm it can be seen looking at his face...but all the others just feel heat

  • POSTED BY m.moyaz on | March 28, 2013, 23:03 GMT

    moyaz Canada: congrats to razzak. this is the way to go. when it comes to one day any team bd can face easily. all bd need is at least 2 pace baller and that's enough. coming to sl fans, thanks for the support but want mention about the fan who said due to rain bd had favor to win , remember 1st odi 259 was a good score on that pitch and sl took favor of rain. again 183 by 27 over not an easy task on wet surface. thank you

  • POSTED BY on | March 28, 2013, 22:14 GMT

    Tremendous effort by BD..they needed this win badly....Good performance by Razzak.This victory will surely boost up youngsters.

  • POSTED BY SyedAreYouDumb on | March 28, 2013, 22:13 GMT

    Very good tour for a bangladeshi point of view. If bangladesh win the t20, then it would be a great tour for them and.... disaster for SL and would put Matthews under pressure.

  • POSTED BY Warm_Coffee on | March 28, 2013, 22:00 GMT

    Unusually he was a bit expensive but its a well known fact Sri Lanka along with India are the 2 best teams that can play spin very well but he's a wicket taker Razzak and did his part. I'm sure he will notch up over 300 one day wickets one day and along with our other spinners in the 11 Shakib, Gazi and sometimes Mahmudullah can be a devastating spin attack for any opposition. Its our pace bowling which is a concern cause our pacers are just too inconsistent especially with their line and lengths and undo the hardwork our batsman puts up on the board. We also need variation spin and fast so wickets will be less difficult to get. Congrats on 200 ODI wickets Razzak!

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  • POSTED BY Warm_Coffee on | March 28, 2013, 22:00 GMT

    Unusually he was a bit expensive but its a well known fact Sri Lanka along with India are the 2 best teams that can play spin very well but he's a wicket taker Razzak and did his part. I'm sure he will notch up over 300 one day wickets one day and along with our other spinners in the 11 Shakib, Gazi and sometimes Mahmudullah can be a devastating spin attack for any opposition. Its our pace bowling which is a concern cause our pacers are just too inconsistent especially with their line and lengths and undo the hardwork our batsman puts up on the board. We also need variation spin and fast so wickets will be less difficult to get. Congrats on 200 ODI wickets Razzak!

  • POSTED BY SyedAreYouDumb on | March 28, 2013, 22:13 GMT

    Very good tour for a bangladeshi point of view. If bangladesh win the t20, then it would be a great tour for them and.... disaster for SL and would put Matthews under pressure.

  • POSTED BY on | March 28, 2013, 22:14 GMT

    Tremendous effort by BD..they needed this win badly....Good performance by Razzak.This victory will surely boost up youngsters.

  • POSTED BY m.moyaz on | March 28, 2013, 23:03 GMT

    moyaz Canada: congrats to razzak. this is the way to go. when it comes to one day any team bd can face easily. all bd need is at least 2 pace baller and that's enough. coming to sl fans, thanks for the support but want mention about the fan who said due to rain bd had favor to win , remember 1st odi 259 was a good score on that pitch and sl took favor of rain. again 183 by 27 over not an easy task on wet surface. thank you

  • POSTED BY SylhetiBangladeshiCricketExpert4u on | March 28, 2013, 23:09 GMT

    Only Nasir Hossain Remains Calm it can be seen looking at his face...but all the others just feel heat

  • POSTED BY cricankul on | March 29, 2013, 0:11 GMT

    Bangladesh showed us today what they are capable of.Lot of credit goes to abdur razzak and hussain.well done boys.....

  • POSTED BY Fogu on | March 29, 2013, 0:54 GMT

    Nasir is a good find for BD. He should bat at 6 for now and develop his game further. He can be a good number 4 for BD long term.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 2:02 GMT

    Hats off to the boys. While improvement in test matches has been slow (but still noticeable), the ODI performances of the Tigers have come on in leaps in bounds over the last one year, starting with the Asia Cup. But we cannot rest on our laurels...we need to keep going, and anything less than a clean sweep in all formats against Zimbabwe in the upcoming tour will be considered another step back for the team.

  • POSTED BY on | March 29, 2013, 2:11 GMT

    congrats bangladesh....you are smellling the victory for the first time....keep it up.....in only 1980 s srilankans too started winnning the series...u (bd) are just starting the same...maintain this tempo and just be one of the top champions country....all the best...

  • POSTED BY Pickpocket on | March 29, 2013, 4:17 GMT

    Mushfiqur is absolutely right. His plan is worked at the end. He is the heart of the team. Mushfiqur is the heart of Bangladesh.