Mashrafe focuses on positives in 'scratchy' effort

Mashrafe Mortaza: “I think we have good balance at the death with Shakib and myself also there.” © AFP

Mashrafe Mortaza has conceded that Bangladesh’s effort was scratchy, but said that his side will draw confidence from sealing their second-highest chase in T20s. Despite some hiccups, Bangladesh reached the target of 164 in 18.4 overs, after having overhauled West Indies’ 164 in the World T20 in 2007.

“We were not up to the mark,” Mashrafe said. “We had that early run-out [of Soumya Sarkar] and if Mushfiqur [Rahim] or Sabbir [Rahman] didn’t get out at those points, we could have finished it in 17-18 overs. But good thing was that we didn’t panic at any stage, which we used to do in the past.

“It is helpful to play in such wickets though I thought it was a scratchy performance. I think chasing this big total will give us more confidence. It is one of our biggest successful chases in T20s so the win is quite a relief. It wasn’t easy chasing 165 so I hope we can hold on to this effort.”

Mashrafe was also pleased with the performances of Al-Amin Hossain and Mustafizur Rahman. They shared four wickets and gave away only 10 runs in the last two overs. Zimbabwe were given a strong platform for a final push by a 101-run opening partnership between Hamilton Masakadza and Vusi Sibanda, but Al-Amin and Mustafizur pegged the visitors back.

“Al-Amin was our best T20 bowler before his action was reported,” Mashrafe said. He is one of our best death bowlers. I have been saying that Mustafizur is unplayable. I think we have good balance at the death with Shakib and myself also there.”

Mashrafe also said that he had made a mistake by not using debutant Shuvagata Hom in the middle overs. Mahmudullah and Sabbir Rahman bowled two overs each during that period while conceding 36 runs. Shuvagata was then sent into bat at No.4, ahead of Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan, but managed only six runs.

“He is playing as a bowling allrounder. I could have brought him on instead of Mahmudullah or Sabbir. I sent him to bat at No 4 because I wanted to see him bat in these situations,” Mashrafe said.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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