Friday's four-wicket win over Zimbabwe was reminder of how different a proposition T20s might be for Bangladesh, who have done significantly well in ODIs this year. Like they did in the first T20, they might repeatedly be required to quickly fight back after a couple of overs of big-hitting or fall of a cluster of wickets in a short space of time.
After Zimbabwe were 39 for 4 in nine overs, the home bowlers were suddenly subjected to a six-hitting spree from Malcolm Waller. He took 17 and 20 off the next two overs and got to his first T20 fifty off only 20 balls shortly afterwards. It took a wicket maiden from Mahmudullah in the 15th over to bring the situation under control, and then Bangladesh bowled out Zimbabwe with three balls remaining in the innings for 131 runs.
Bangladesh would have to prepare for more such carnage in the coming months against stronger opposition with more big-hitters in their line-up, leading up to the World T20. In the past, Bangladesh have struggled to wrest back the initiative after such a quick turnaround in the momentum. Captain Mashrafe Mortaza said that a number of bowling options helped him when they faced a similar situation on Friday.
"Twenty20 is of a different nature, two overs can change everything," Mashrafe said. "Their runs were behind the number of balls but after a few overs of hitting, they went ahead. I had to bring [Mahmudullah] Riyad since Jubair went for 17 in his first over. I had to use more bowlers than usual, but it was good practice for everyone."
While chasing 132, Bangladesh were never far away from the required run-rate but seemed to lose their way when they were 80 for 5 in the 11th over when Nasir Hossain and Tamim Iqbal fell to Graeme Cremer. It required Mahmudullah and Liton Das to take over the chase and, after Liton fell, it was Mashrafe himself who hit two fours and a six to complete the chase in the 18th over.
Mashrafe wasn't really happy with the way Bangladesh batted, especially after getting to 47 for 2 in the first six overs. "We didn't want to bat like this while chasing 132 runs. We should have batted normally, rather than hurry. Still the win is very important," Mashrafe said. "I hope everyone will plan well ahead of the next game.
"We had to go after the bowling in the first six overs in which we got around 47 runs. When that was done, we should have batted sensibly and not gone after everything."
Mashrafe said that everyone in the batting line-up, even those who bat down the order like himself, must be prepared to make even the smallest contribution in the quest for a win.
"I have it in my mind that I may have to score 15-20 runs if I am batting at No 8. I tried to contribute as much as possible. Even those batting at Nos. 10 or 11 have to know that they may have to score 5 to 10 runs when required."