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Rishad's over was the turning point: Shakib Al Hasan on Bangladesh's win

Last updated on 13 Jun 2024 | 10:08 PM
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Rishad's over was the turning point: Shakib Al Hasan on Bangladesh's win

Bangladesh defeated Netherlands by 25 runs, making them one of the favorites from the group to qualify for the Super 8s

Bangladesh took a step closer to the Super 8 Qualification with a 25-run over the Netherlands in St Vincent on Thursday (June 13). Asked to bat first, the Tigers scored 159/5 in their 20 overs. Shakib Al Hasan was the nucleus around which the Bangladeshi batting revolved. The left-hander scored an unbeaten 64 off 46 balls with nine boundaries. 

The Netherlands provided a tough challenge to the Bangladeshi bowlers. The Dutch batters scored at least one boundary in each of the first seven overs of the run chase. They needed 56 off 36 balls with seven wickets in hand and two set batters — Scott Edwards and Sybrand Engelbrecht — at the crease. 

Bangladesh turned the game from point, conceding only 30 runs for four wickets in these six overs to clinch two points. Mustafizur Rahman kept things tight in his spell of 1/12 in four overs while the leg-spinner Rishad Hossain dealt in wickets, picking 3/33. 

Rishad pouched vital wickets of Engelbrecht and Bas de Leede in the 15th over which turned the game in Bangladesh’s favor according to Shakib. 

“At that time it was anybody's game. If they could have played better for two or three more overs, would have been very difficult for us to come back,” Shakib said in media interaction after the game. 

“But that's how the T20 matches go. The way Rishad bowled that over, when he took those two wickets, that changed the game completely and then we never let them get away,” he said calling Rishad’s over the turning point. 

A few overs later, Mustafizur Rahman conceded only one run in the 17th over alongside dismissing the Dutch skipper, Edwards. 

“Our bowlers did a tremendous job especially Mustafiz and Rishad the way they bowled last eight overs out of those eight overs I think they bowled four overs and I think took four-five wickets that changed the momentum of the game,” he further added, also crediting the effort of Rahman. 

In the first innings, Shakib held Bangladesh’s innings together. Walking out to bat in the fourth over, with the score reading 23/1, the left-handed batter till the end of the innings for his first T20 WC fifty in 17 innings

Shakib started with a flurry of boundaries, scoring 25 off his first 13 balls with five fours. But post powerplay, he slowed down to play a long innings. However, the 37-year-old felt that batting got easier once the ball got softer. 

“We needed to assess the wicket. I thought we did that brilliantly because it wasn't an easy wicket to bat on at the start. Once the ball got older, scoring became a little easier. I think the second half, batting becomes a little easier,” Shakib assessed. 

“At the start, it was important for us as a batting unit that someone from top four batted throughout the innings. That was important. No one knew what was going to be a good total,” he added about his approach while batting. 

Shakib was coming through a streak of low scores into this contest. He had 69 runs in six T20I innings this year before facing Netherlands on Thursday. In the previous game, Shakib was out pulling the ball unnecessarily for 3 at a crucial point in the run chase and received a lot of flak behind his shot selection. The former Indian cricketer, Virender Sehwag raised question marks on the value of Shakib’s experience and his relevance in the format on Cricbuzz Live. 

Asked if the knock was an answer to such statements, Shakib insisted that his only focus rested in contributing to the team’s cause.

“A player never comes to answer any questions. A player's job is to bat for the team if he's a batsman and contributes to the team. If he is a bowler, his job is to bowl well. The wicket is about luck. If he is a fielder, he should save each run and take as many catches as he can. Here, actually, there's nothing to answer for anyone. I think it is important for a current player how much he can contribute to his team. When he can't contribute, then naturally there would be discussions and I don't think it is a bad thing,” he said.

Bangladesh are now only one win away from the Super 8 stage. A win over Nepal in their last group game on June 17 in St Vincent will confirm their qualification, irrespective of the other results in their group. 

“The position we are in we should feel the confidence. There is no reason we shouldn't feel confident. So obviously it will be a very important game. And I hope the way we are contributing as a team, performing as a team, we can do the same thing against Nepal,” Shakib said in anticipation of the big game. 

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