Riding on the half-century of Mushfiqur Rahim and opener Naim Sheikh, Bangladesh compiled a respectable 171-4 against Sri Lanka in their opening game of the Twenty20 World Cup Super 12 phase at Sharjah in United Arab Emirates on Sunday.
However, their hardwork went in vain as Bangladesh lost the match by 5 wickets. This loss was an accumulation of poor captaincy, poor fielding and poor batting but before the clash against England Sunday’s batting will certainly give the team a boost.
After the match. Skipper Mahmudullah Riyad, who made some questionable bowling changes said, “I thought 171 could be defended. Liton and Naim gave us a very good start. Naim held the innings. Mushfiq played a brilliant innings. We were in the game till the tenth over. But things went wrong for us after that. We will correct that in the next game. We watched the IPL games and thought an extra spinner would help. The spinners bowled well but we missed a couple of chances. This game will boost up our batting unit and we are looking forward to the next game.”
Naim sheikh hit 62 off 52, smashing six fours while Mushfiqur Rahim, who was instrumental in keeping the side in good stead in the middle overs, blasted an unbeaten 57 off 37, clobbering five fours and two sixes.
Bangladesh though were asked to bat first got a decent start for the first time in this World Cup with their openers Liton Das and Naim Sehikh combining for a 40-run partnership.
The partnership was broken in the penultimate delivery of the first powerplay when Liton picked up mid-off, trying to clear the boundary.
But as he was walking off, the bowler Lahiru Kumara exchanged some words that Liton clearly didn't like and in the process, the two was involved in verbal spat and there was also some physical contact. It needed others intervention to separate those two players.
In form Shakib then came into the crease but couldn't make any impact this time as Chamika Karunaratne rattled his stump with a modest delivery after he scored just 10.
But out of form Mushfiqur Rahim gave Bangladesh the sigh of relief when it looked Sri Lanka put them in control.
With caution and aggression, Mushfiqur and Naim kept Sri Lanka bowlers in pressure and rotated the scoreboard with good pace.
Naim Sheikh brought up his second half-century in his last three matches, with a straight drive over Lahiru Kumara's head for a boundary off 44 balls.
He however was dismissed after giving Binura Fernando a return catch.
While he was little slow in his approach, Mushfiqur Rahim found the gap in regular intervals to milk boundaries in almost every overs.
Mushfiqur completed his sixth T20 half-century off just 32 balls, chipping Lahiru Kumara's delivery to long-on for four and in doing so, he stabbed off his off form in the crucial game for Bangladesh.