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

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


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

  • Lakpriya 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.

  • Dummy4 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 !!

  • Mike 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.

  • Duttagupta 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.

  • Chatty 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.

  • Shipu 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

  • Duttagupta 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.

  • Shuvo 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. :)

  • Zareef on March 29, 2013, 9:38 GMT


    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

  • Niaz 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

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