NEW ZEALAND BANGLADESH TOUR, 2021
Afif Hossain was Bangladesh’s top scorer with a 45 of 33 balls in the 1st T20I. © Getty
Bangladesh skipper T20 Mahmudullah urged the young people on the team to step up and show their courage in the absence of senior professionals. New Zealand claimed victory by 66 points in the T20I Series opener in Hamilton on Sunday against a missing side Tamim Iqbal (personal reasons), Shakib Al Hasan (paternity leave) and Mushfiqur Rahim (injury to the shoulder).
Mushfiqur’s injury ahead of this game could likely rule him out of the remaining two games with the team management keen to save the veteran for the upcoming Sri Lanka tour.
Despite losing in Game 1, the Bangladesh captain was encouraged by the performance of Afif Hossain (45) and Naim Sheikh (27), with both batsmen displaying positive intention during their passage through the middle. Rookie spinner Nasum Ahmed was also impressed with the 2 for 30 numbers.
“I think it was a very good chance for players like Naim Sheikh, Afif (Hossain) and the two newbies today to show the world how good they are, but we have to take a step forward because we won’t get a squad full of experienced players, and we have to deal with that, ”Mahmudullah told reporters after the game.“ So someone [new member] needs to raise his hands [and contribute]. They are very talented and able to win matches for Bangladesh. ”
Mahmudullah felt his team were creating opportunities but couldn’t seize them. Another newbie Shoriful Islam caught Devon Conway at the border, but was given six after reruns showed he hit the border cushions while completing the capture. Conway, who hit his 50 in the process, hit 37 balls, then hit 39 of his next 12 to push the score past 200.
“I asked my outfielder Shoriful right away, to make sure it was a six or not, but he looked confused, so I thought it was probably gone for a six. It was a very small gap to see, but it’s okay, like, in the end, it was the referee’s call, and we have to respect that, ”said Mahmudullah.
“I think we had a chance, on the pitch; in the opening overs we took a few wickets, their runs were under seven points per over, but the way Devon (Conway) hit, I think he was prolific in his bat, he was very consistent in his last innings. But we had our chances, like I said, in the limit, but it lasted six. I think the bowlers did very well played, we can’t really blame them.
“Maybe a slight field error that cost us a few more limits. If the goal was around 190 then I think he would have been chased. That said, losing wickets in bunches made the difference. , which we couldn’t win the game for. That’s what we do, keep repeating mistakes over and over again, but one positive thing I would like to take is that the intention was there, which is a good thing.
“T20 matches are quite uncertain, because you can be eliminated by a score of 100-120 on any given day, but you have to show that will to win,” he concluded.