Family values inspire match-winner Mahmudullah

'We knew the total was big enough' - Mahmudullah (2:37)

Mahmudullah talks about his maiden ODI hundred, the way his team-mates bowled and how important the win against England is (2:37)

Mahmudullah started to get nervous when he pulled Chris Woakes to the fine-leg boundary. He had reached 90. Three balls later, some of those nerves would disappear along with another boundary, this time taking him to 96. Another five balls and he had reached his maiden ODI hundred, and Bangladesh's first in the World Cup.

He took off his helmet and smiled, then blew a kiss towards the Torrens River, across which was the team hotel.

"It was a flying kiss for my wife and kid," he said. "They were at the hotel, they couldn't come to the ground."

What he said next would warm your heart. He missed his mother. When the Bangladesh national anthem was playing before the match, one particular verse reminded him of her. He has been out of the country since January 24.

"I just want to say that I really missed my mother today when they were playing the national anthem, particularly the second last verse. I haven't seen her in a while," he said.

"Oh mother mine,
Words from your lips are like nectar to my ears;
Ah, what a thrill!
If sadness, O mother casts a gloom on your face,
My eyes are filled with tears!"

It should not take too long to figure out where Mahmudullah got the inspiration to play his best-ever ODI innings from, giving Bangladesh their cherished place in the last eight of the World Cup.

He was thrilled with the innings, as he fought his way through an early batting wobble and added sizable partnerships with Soumya Sarkar and Mushfiqur Rahim. He found handling James Anderson and Stuart Broad particularly difficult, with both new balls moving an inch this way or that. But once he could see them off, batting became easier.

"This innings will be special for me as long as I will play for Bangladesh," Mahmudullah said. "It is my first ODI hundred. It could have happened against Scotland but it didn't. I wasn't thinking about a century today, I just batted normally. I tried to put together partnerships. I think those I batted with, had a bigger role.

"It wasn't easy against Anderson and Broad initially, especially Anderson. I was hoping to get loose balls, and the swing to wear off. Once that happened, batting became easier. Hitting bad balls is also a matter of skill so I think I batted well at the time. I really liked batting today. "

Mahmudullah thanked Chandika Hathurusingha for telling him and the other batsmen not to be in two minds but play their shots if they are confident about it. He said that was reflected in how Soumya and Sabbir Rahman batted, while also mentioning another Mushfiqur contribution.

He said he hoped to become a regular scorer and, eventually, a match-winner. Mahmudullah averages 51.36 in Bangladesh's wins, 18 more than his overall ODI batting average. Six out of his 13 fifty-plus scores have come in won matches.

"I think the coach should be thanked for telling us to go for the shots, not do anything half-hearted. Our batsmen are improving every day. Soumya and Sabbir did well today, Mushfiqur is very consistent. We are being more confident, and that's helping our batting.

"Shakib, Mushfiqur Tamim and Mashrafe are playing for Bangladesh for a long time, and are match-winners. I always had a contributor role. I hope to continue to make more runs and win games for my country."

He was also asked about the difficult time he has had since 2013 through to September last year, when he averaged 22.37 in 20 matches, scoring only one fifty. He was dropped for the Asia Cup, but bounced back and was annoyed at the suggestions he received favours for being related to Mushfiqur, his brother-in-law.

"It was a very tough time," he said. "For 12 months, I didn't perform up to expectations. It was a learning stage in my career. I learned a lot about myself. I heard a lot of criticism. It inspired me to work hard. I could perform, which is making me happy.

"To be honest, Mushfiqur and I are two individuals. We are relatives off the field, that's a fact. We know how honest we are in our professional and personal life. We know where to draw the line."