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Anamul thirsts for the long innings

Anamul Haque defends a short ball AFP

Anamul Haque is still wondering how he should have played the Tafadzwa Kamungozi delivery that he deposited into deep midwicket's lap. He was five runs short of his fourth ODI hundred when he was caught off a short ball which should have been struck over the fielder.

Bangladesh added 130 runs in 14.5 overs since his dismissal though to end up with 297 for 6. Anamul had been batting conservatively, having struck nine fours in his innings, and only two since the 21st over. Perhaps his eyes lit up at the chance of reaching his ton with a six, but he said he had planned to be more proactive in the batting Powerplay with Bangladesh on 167 for 2.

"It is quite natural for a batsman who gets out in the nineties to have some regret in missing out on the century," he said. "My bigger regret is for getting out on a score that I have never got out on. I didn't expect to get such a bad ball at that stage, which made it hard to decide on what shot to play. I still don't know what I should have played.

"It was important for one batsman to play long, since Tamim bhai and Sourav [Mominul Haque] were both dismissed. I tried to keep the ball down till the Powerplay overs came, so that I can use those overs. I wasn't thinking about the hundred, rather I was thinking of the team. I played that shot because Mominul had just got out."

Bangladesh's start with the bat was slightly peculiar. Tamim Iqbal began by hitting Tinashe Panyangara for a six in the first over, but struggled to get the scoring going for the rest of his innings. Anamul faced more deliveries during their partnership, but he batted with a strike-rate in the mid-70s. He said that he was trying to build an innings in his natural way, but he was luckier to get more bad balls than Tamim.

"I try to play my natural game, just like I did today. I always try to play longer after getting set. I will try to stretch out my innings similarly in the future. I thought today I deserved the hundred. If I get a chance in the future, I will prepare myself to get the hundred.

"I think Tamim bhai is the best partner, and not just when I am batting," Anamul said. "It is not possible for him to start superbly every game. Today was a case of me getting more bad balls than him. It will be different any other day and he will score at a faster rate."

Anamul has had problems picking up singles in the past. There have been many innings when he has scored a healthy boundary count, but his strike-rate would be stuck between the 70s and 80s. In this game however, he got 46 singles, as many as he got against Pakistan during his second ODI century in March. With this knock, Anamul has pipped Mushfiqur Rahim to become Bangladesh's highest run-getter in ODIs in 2014.

"I am trying to find more singles. Batsmen have small weaknesses, so I will also try to improve myself. I am speaking to the coach. I am 22 now, so hoping it will all be fixed by the time I am 23," he said with a smile.