Hungry Shamim shows he is a quick learner

Two nights after failing to close out a chase, the teenager delivers under pressure

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Shamim Hossain pictured here during his cap presentation ceremony  •  BCB

Shamim Hossain pictured here during his cap presentation ceremony  •  BCB

Shamim Hossain, in his second T20I, is under pressure. Three fruitless slogs in the 18th over later, Bangladesh need 25 off 15 balls. The game has wildly swung both ways until this point. Dion Myers had conceded just three off his first three balls; Sikandar Raza's move to bowl him seemed a gamble that could pay off.
Shamim is possibly thinking of his dismissal in the second T20I after he gave Bangladesh hope through his 13-ball 29. Here he was again, in a situation that was even more tricky. There was a series to be won. He simply had to strike.
And strike he did. He thumped Myers for three fours: a forehand smash through covers, a reverse bunt past a diving short third man and a fierce pull over midwicket. Then, he kept his head through Blessing Muzarabani's penultimate over to all but seal the contest. He then finished the game off by hitting the winning runs. He remained unbeaten on 31 off just 15 balls, hitting six fours, five of which came in the last three overs.
"I was hungry to finish the game after being unable to do so in the previous game," Shamim said. "I was looking for that opportunity. I am feeling really well having done that. I am happy that we won the T20I series, which happened to be my first international series. When Soumya (Sarkar) bhai and (Mahmudullah) Riyad bhai were batting together, things were in our favour. While sitting in the dressing room, I told myself that we must win this game."
The match had already started to turn in Bangladesh's favour during the third-wicket stand between Mahmudullah and Soumya Sarkar, but it needed a final push from the Mahmudullah-Hossain partnership, after Afif Hossain's dismissal.
"Riyad bhai told me that we can get ten an over if we can hit a six or a four every over," he said. "It will get us close to their target. I maintained my process during this situation."
Soumya Sarkar, whose 68 set up Bangladesh's push towards the big chase, was impressed with Shamim's desire. "He played an important innings," the senior batter said. "He was very positive. I really liked how hungry he was to win the game. This was only his second international match, but finished the game very well."
Shamim made a mark during Bangladesh's victorious Under-19 World Cup campaign last year. The senior team's selectors and team management had a better look during this season's Dhaka Premier League T20s. But despite doing well at these levels, Shamim said that his short crash course of international cricket during these T20Is told him what is needed at this level.
"I have figured out how tough international cricket is, playing here," he said. "I have so far played Under-19 cricket and the Dhaka Premier League, but this is different. One gets fewer bad balls. One has to hit the good balls for boundaries, but at the same time, keep sticking to your process. One has to play with more responsibility at this level."
An altogether different challenge awaits Shamim when Bangladesh take on Australia in the five T20Is from August 3 in Dhaka. The hunger can easily be replaced by a sense of accomplishment, and that's one very critical area that Shamim needs to guard himself against.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84