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Mashrafe pleased with Bangladesh's fightback

The Bangladesh team celebrate their 3-0 series win over Pakistan AFP

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza has said the way his side fought back against Pakistan in the third ODI was an indicator of their growth as a team. He said the more tough situations Bangladesh get out of, the better they will be.

The home side triggered a collapse from Pakistan, who were comfortably placed at 203 for 2 in the 39th over. Bangladesh then took eight wickets for 47 runs in 11.3 overs, conceding only 39 in the last nine overs. Mashrafe rotated his bowlers effectively, particularly using Shakib Al Hasan and Rubel Hossain at the right moments and bringing Arafat Sunny on for timely short spells.

"From a professional point of view, the happiness comes from seeing the team come out of a tough situation," Mashrafe said. "There was a time in this game when it seemed they would score more than 300 runs, but we turned the game around. Every time we turn around in this manner, we are most likely to win the match.

"It is natural for the captain to get credit when the team does well. The players have been wonderful. A captain can't really change how a player goes about his work. He can only guide them. Now the players think that they will work even harder. We can change more. We are yet to be complete performers. But if we keep performing in this manner, we can continue to go up."

The day's best performer was Soumya Sarkar, who made an unbeaten 127. It was his maiden ODI century in only his tenth game after making his debut on December 1 last year against Zimbabwe.

"Babu bhai (a Bangladeshi expatriate in Australia) said during the World Cup that at the rate Soumya is going, he will get a century in the next World Cup," a laughing Mashrafe said. "He batted sensibly today. It is important to remain yourself when you know that you haven't made full use of your starts in the previous two games. Credit to him for batting the way he does. But this is just the start of his career. I hope he goes very far, but only if he plays like this and works hard."

What was more vital, according to Mashrafe, was the five rating points Bangladesh gained in the ICC ODI rankings through the 3-0 win. They are currently ninth in the table with 81 points, below Pakistan who have slipped to No 8.

"I would have to say that this is currently our best team. There were few changes during and after the World Cup but that's due to injuries," Mashrafe said. "I wouldn't belittle any of our opponents but whenever we won in the past, we had needed those wins. Similarly, we needed this 3-0 win, more so now because of the ODI rankings.

"I trust every player in my team. The bowling changes didn't mean that I didn't like what they were doing. The match situation called for such changes. I gave the ball to someone who was bowling well or someone against whom the opposition batsmen didn't feel comfortable."