When Mahmudullah and Shakib Al Hassan appeared in the mixed zone for the presser sporting big smiles on their faces after fashioning an incredible five-wicket victory over New Zealand on Friday, they made a very interesting observation.
"This victory will give us the confidence that we can win a game from any situation," said Shakib, who does not celebrate the way others do after a personal or collective achievement. He hardly celebrated after scoring his century; he did not even talk too much when he was batting.
"He normally doesn't talk. Actually we were not talking when we were building that partnership. It was only after our partnership crossed 130-odd and [we] were something like 160-odd that we started talking. I had gone down the wicket on a number of occasions and we were saying that we have a chance," Mahmudullah said about the magnificent stand of 224, which was the highest for any wicket in Bangladesh's one-day history.
Shakib said that he was only thinking of staying at the wicket after Bangladesh were reduced to 33-4.
"I was thinking of staying at the wicket as long as possible. I don't get many opportunities to bat for a long time so with Riyad bhai at the other end we were thinking just to bat on. Once our partnership reached 100 and we saw we had plenty of overs left, we just kept continuing," said Bangladesh's premier all-rounder.
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He was in a murderous mood after completing his 100, hitting two fours off successive deliveries against Trent Boult. He was almost denying Mahmudullah his century but when asked he said with a smile on his face: "Actually when I was about to hit the third ball I was caught in two minds [about whether I was denying him a century]. So I played it half-heartedly."
He also said that if he gets another opportunity he would finish the chase.
"Tamim [Iqbal] always asks me why I can't finish a chase. I was really close yesterday but next time, I will try to do that," he said with a smile on his face.
Mahmudullah however lauded the performance of the bowlers.
"They did a tremendous job to restrict New Zealand to 265. Our bowlers really bowled in the last ten overs. Mashrafe [Bin Mortaza] bhai bowled well. Mosaddek [Hossain] came in and took three important wickets and Taskin [Ahmed] also bowled well," said Mahmudullah, who scored his first century since his back-to-back tons in the 2015 World Cup.
Bangladesh bowled really well in the last ten overs when the Black Caps could score only 62 runs despite being well placed at 201 for four in 39 overs.