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7 August, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Mental toughness leads Tigers to win ODI, T20 series: Shakib

Sports Reporter
Mental toughness leads Tigers to
win ODI, T20 series: Shakib
Bangladesh opening batsman Liton Das hits a six as West Indies keeper Denesh Ramdin (L) watches during the 3rd and final T20i match at Central Broward Regional Park Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, yesterday. AFP Photo

It needs a special character to win the ODI and T20 series, specially after a debacle in the Test series, which created a huge uproar in the country, raising a question whether this Bangladesh team could compete in any format in the foreign soil.

But the team kept the composure, showing the mental toughness and won the both formats by the margin of 2-1, following their 2-0 whitewash at the hands of West Indies in Test. Bangladesh was expected to win the series in ODI cricket given their expertise in this format but very few mulled a series victory over West Indies in T20 format in which the hosts are world’s best. But Bangladesh came from behind to seal the series by 2-1. If the senior players were the architect of the victory in second game, it was the junior players who stepped up amid criticism of their performance in the third game to give Bangladesh a 19-run victory by D/L method.  Opener Liton Das specially was amazing as he blasted 32 ball-61 to help the side victory in series-deciding game.

By winning two straight games, Bangladesh kept them unbeaten in Florida and also broke West Indies’s record of not losing any match in Florida. At the same time, it was Bangladesh first victory in a series consisted of two or more matches after their 3-0 victory over Ireland in 2012.

After the victory, Bangladesh T20I skipper Shakib Al Hasan hailed his team for showing strong character. It was even more assuring result for Bangladesh because their hosts, West Indies, are a formidable side in the game's shortest format.

"Unbelievable effort from the boys," Shakib told reporters after the final T20I. "'After losing the first game, we showed a lot of character. Everybody believed we could come back. 'We were facing the World Champions, and we showed great character. Our record in T20s is not that great and hopefully from now on we can kick on," he added.

Bangladesh hit back hard in the ODIs after the Test debacle to win the series under the leadership of Masharfe Mortaza, but the defeat in the T20I series opener again raised questions over the captaincy of Shakib. However, the all-rounder managed to make his mark as skipper both by leading from the front with bat and ball as well as taking some smart move with available options.

Bangladesh were left one bowler short in the series decider once left-arm spinner Nazmul Hossain injured his finger while trying to stop the ball in his follow through, in his very first over. However, Shakib rotated his strike bowlers smartly that earned them regular breakthroughs and helped keep West Indies always in check. Shakib proved that he was leading the side with lot more clarity, something that felt missing in the Test series.

"Just really proud of the boys and even the guys who were not playing put their heart into it and tried to help in whatever way they could and just couldn't have asked for anything more,'' the captain noted. "We know now how to win matches, especially tight matches. We kept on losing so many matches after going close but now we have started to win."

Shakib said that he was keen to lead from the front and was happy that he managed to do so and contributed to Bangladesh's success in the series. The skipper scored 38-ball 60 in the second T20I and added valuable 90 runs in the partnership with Tamim Iqbal to lay the foundation of the series-leveling win, while also being economical and picking wickets at crucial juncture to show his exploits with the cherry.

According to Shakib, his batting form helped him in improving other aspects of his game. "I think I was batting well throughout the series. I was hitting the ball well, and that gave me the confidence which also helped me bowl well and leading the team well." Shakib concluded.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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