Mashrafe rates victory over Sri Lanka as ‘one of Bangladesh’s best’


Mashrafe Moraza said Bangladesh’s 163-run victory over Sri Lanka in the third match of the ODI tri-series in Dhaka was one of the team’s best of recent years.

The hosts made it two wins from two in the competition, having dispatched Zimbabwe by eight wickets in the opening fixture, with Shakib Al Hasan (67 and 3/47) starring with bat and ball and opener Tamim Iqbal (84) setting a platform for an imposing total of 320/7.

“If you look at the recent past, this is one of the best wins for us,” said Mortaza. “The way the boys played was really good and we have to keep it going. There is always something to learn if you win or lose. Tamim could have got a hundred – but the batting was up to the mark even though nobody got a hundred.

“As a bowling side, we were struggling in South Africa. Back at home, we are up to the mark. The role of Sabbir Rahman [who hit 24* from 12 deliveries] is to finish the innings. He is good to bat at No.6 or 7, and he feels positive there. It is suiting him. We are still finding one more batsman who can hit like Sabbir. Once Shakib bats at No.3, he looks like a cool and calm customer. Tamim is hungry for the runs. This top five has to bat 40 or 45 overs and they did that today.”

Shakib was named Player of the Match but paid tribute to a fine all-round performance from the team. “Everyone contributed,” he said. “Tamim played the way he has been playing for two or three years. Mushfiqur [Rahim, who scored 62] played well and others chipped in. I thought we bowled really well, and it was a better performance from the last game. Every day you need to improve and there is healthy competition in the team. You can’t relax.”

Before Friday’s massive 163-run win, Bangladesh’s biggest win was one of 160 runs against West Indies five years ago.

The Tigers are through to the final of the tri-nation series after winning the first two matches with bonus points.

The win over the other team in this tournament, Zimbabwe, was also big – by eight wickets.

But when former World Cup winners Sri Lanka are the opponents with former Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusingha as their coach, a victory margin as huge as by 163 runs means the Tigers have something bigger to celebrate and it was clear in Mashrafe’s words.

“If you look back at the recent past, you must say it is one of our best victories. The boys played very well and we will have to keep it up,” he said after the match.

The ODI skipper, however, thinks Bangladesh still have a lot more to do.

“We have many things to learn from every match no matter we win or lose. Tamim could score a century. Batting was good, but no one could score a century,” he said, noting that opener Tamim Iqbal was out at 84.

He also thinks Bangladesh should not forget the poor performance, especially in bowling, in the South Africa series by the end of last year. “We struggled with our bowling in South Africa,” he said.

“We’ve done very well (against Sri Lanka), but there are more to do,” Mashrafe added.

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