Heading into the three-match series against Ireland, Bangladesh had never scored more than 333 in a 50-over game but two games in, the Tigers have already broken their own record not once, but twice. In the first ODI in Sylhet, onslaughts from Shakib Al Hasan and debutant Towhid Hridoy enabled them to post what was then their highest ever ODI total (338/8) but astonishingly enough, they ended up breaking it just two days later, amassing 349/6 in the second game which unfortunately had to be abandoned due to rain.
Power-hitting and quick run-scoring is something that Bangladesh have struggled with for the longest time, but Liton Das believes the side’s sizzling showing with the bat across the first two ODIs is an excellent sign in a World Cup year where the Tigers potentially could prove to be dark horses.
"I think these runs are important in ODIs,” Liton said after the second ODI.
“Big teams often get hundred or close to hundred runs in the last ten overs. It was a challenge for us. We have been talking about how we can get 100 runs in the last ten overs of a T20I too, so it is a good sign that we have started to do it.
"Everyone is batting with intent in the middle overs [10-40]. It is a good intent. They are not just targeting big sixes but the focus is on ones, twos and fours.”
That the Tigers ended up breaking their own record for the second time in three days was down to the stunning onslaught from Mushfiqur Rahim, who ended up scoring the fastest ever ODI hundred by a Bangladeshi batter, getting to the three-figure mark in just 60 balls.
The hosts were 190/4 in the 34th over when Rahim walked in but courtesy his stunning ton, they nearly ended up breaching the 350-mark, amassing 159 off the final 16.4 overs in the innings.
Liton was full of praise for the former skipper’s knock.
"Watching his innings was a great feeling," Litton said of Mushfiqur’s ton.
"I have never seen a Bangladeshi batter score a hundred towards the end. When someone plays such a knock in the team, it looks good. When a senior plays such a knock, it is even better. His first ODI knock was amazing too. He made 40-plus but it created a big margin to get a 300-plus total. His innings today really made it a different ball-game."
Top four batters, particularly in ODI cricket, are always told to target ‘hundreds’ but Liton believes they must not merely be satisfied with a three-figure score and will need to eye daddy hundreds.
Both he and Najmul Shanto got dismissed in the 70s and the 28-year-old, who has a highest ODI score of 176, believes they could easily have ended up scoring over 150 had they managed to stay put till the end.
"The top four batters want to finish the innings, which these days can even mean a double-hundred. Century shouldn't be a target. If Shanto and I had batted till the 45th over, we could have got 150-180. We were batting quite well. I had a soft dismissal, Shanto was unlucky. But Mushfiq bhai played a spectacular knock, way better than our efforts," he said.