Mash vents his fury
You have seen him win matches with his swinging deliveries in the past; you have seen him upset the opposition by playing the role of a floater and scoring crucial runs at the end of an innings; you have also regularly seen him outwit the opponent with his tactical changes on the field; but to witness Mashrafe excel in all three departments at a time when his teammates were down and upset, now that's just a scene taken right out of a movie.
Following the win against England yesterday, Mashrafe admitted that his teammates were 'shocked' and 'upset' after they lost the first ODI and that he hoped to change that sentiment by slogging the hosts out of trouble.
"The win was important because we were shocked about the way we lost the first ODI. We were down that day and we were even upset during the warm-up. But one moment changes the mindset and luckily that worked out.
"Before coming to bat I was thinking to myself that in the last three to four matches, I tried to spend some time at the wicket and it wasn't working. So I thought, I was just going to go and slog," smiled Mashrafe.
FIRST ODI LOSS WORSE THAN WORLD T20 INDIA DEFEAT
Elaborating on the way the players felt after the first ODI, he said: "The senior players of the team, we hung out till 3:00 am in our rooms and we kept talking. We tried not to talk about the defeat but we ended up talking about it. We talked about the India game in the World T20 as well, where we had committed a similar mistake.
"I thought the way we had lost the first ODI against England gave a worse feeling in comparison because we had six wickets left and two set batsman," explained Mashrafe.
The hosts posted 238 for eight and the message in the dressing room was simple, they needed to pick up early wickets.
"I remember we had beaten England in England in a similar scenario before and we had gotten early wickets back then. That was the key for today as well. Because we got four early wickets, we had the advantage," said Mashrafe.
Mashrafe's role as a bowler seems to have changed a bit with the absence of Mustafizur Rahman. He tends to bowl longer spells with the new ball and looks to swing the ball more often rather than bowling slower ones and cutters.
It's something that Mashrafe intentionally does in order to fill the gaps of Mustafizur.
"Mustafizur always got wickets and so with him not there, I have to do it. It's challenging and not easy but at the moment it feels good because everything is working out.
"I think when your fitness level is good it becomes easier [to bowl seam up deliveries and look to swing the ball]," explained Mashrafe.
Yesterday's wicket produced more turn and was a bit slower and suited the hosts a lot more. However, Mashrafe claimed that this was not the wicket that the team had asked for.
"We wanted to play on a sporting wicket like in the first ODI. We lost the first game because of our own mistakes. The wicket today was different because it was under covers for two days because of the rain and that caused the wicket to be a bit slow. But as a team we prefer sporting wickets," said Mashrafe, adding that the hosts would now target their seventh consecutive series win in Chittagong.