ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Beyond my imagination, says Mashrafe Mortaza | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 10, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:11 PM, June 10, 2017

Beyond my imagination: Mash

When Mahmudullah Riyad arrived at the crease with Bangladesh at 33 for four, many people may have switched off their television sets and stopped talking about the match at hand. As the heroic pair revealed after the match, Mahmudullah and Shakib Al Hasan did the same.

They did not talk, but their bats did and the result was a mammoth 224-run fifth-wicket partnership which brought a historic five-wicket win for Bangladesh in their Champions Trophy match against New Zealand in Cardiff yesterday.

"The best thing about our partnership was we didn't talk too much, we just wanted to bat. We were just batting and wanted to be positive. Early on it was swinging. Once it stopped swinging, it was easier to bat. I think Tamim batted superbly this tournament. Losing him early on was a bit of a shock. We just wanted to hit the gaps and put the bad balls away," Mahmudullah, who scored an unbeaten 102, said after the match.

"Like he [Mahmudullah] said we, did not talk. We did not want to chase that down. We just wanted to bat 40 overs and see where we were. Winning a match in an ICC tournament is a big thing. From there, we can only go forward," Shakib added after collecting the player-of-the-match award for his outstanding 115-run knock.

This win is special for every Bangladeshi, but the significance of the victory is different for captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza because he is the only remaining part of the Bangladesh team which clinched a famous victory against Australia by the same margin at the same venue 12 years back.

"It's a great feeling. I was here both times [in 2005 and here against New Zealand yesterday]. The boys made the chances count and that's a great feeling," Mashrafe said at the post-match presentation

At the post-match press briefing, Mashrafe said: "I don't know whether we will play in the semifinal, but if we do then we will put up a much better performance. If we can't make it to the semifinals then there's nothing we can do. We achieved what we wanted to in this match. I can't ask Australia to lose the match, so I wish the best of luck to both teams."

When asked when he started to believe that the Tigers had a chance to win the match, Mashrafe responded: ""When we crossed 100, I started to believe. But that they would score 200 is phenomenal. It was beyond imagination."

Mashrafe added that this today's was a kind of game which Bangladesh would need to win if they wanted to reach the next level.

"We proved a lot with this win today and we can move forward with this kind of result. We have to rate this higher than any of the other wins because this will elevate our cricket to the next level," the ODI skipper continued.

“We won at home and now we have also started winning away matches. So now people will start to say that we really are a good team. We did our job, now we will be looking forward to tomorrow's match."

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