Mashrafe, who was sitting beside Liton during the press conference, said he is happy to see Liton establishing him on the international circuit
Bangladesh opening batsman Liton Das said they wanted a perfect send-off for inspirational captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza, after they defeated visitor Zimbabwe in the third and final ODI of the series at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium Friday.
The match was Mashrafe’s last as Bangladesh ODI captain.
Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe by 123 runs (Duckworth/Lewis method) to seal a clean sweep of Zimbabwe.
The right-handed Liton was in sensational touch during the rain-hit third ODI, scoring a record 176 off 143 balls.
Other opener Tamim Iqbal hammered an unbeaten 128 off 109 deliveries, as the duo put on a record 292 opening partnership for the Tigers.
“We wanted to give our captain [Mashrafe] a big send-off in his last match as captain. I wasn’t nervous in this game. I started from zero. The target was to bat at least 30 overs, and I was batting with a plan. But, after reaching 100, the momentum changed. I played fast, so there was a chance [of a double hundred], but I never thought of scoring 200 runs,” Liton told the media.
“My target was to bat as many overs as possible, and after the rain break I had to play more shots because of the curtailed overs. After scoring two centuries, I hope that I can score big against any opponent if I play 30 overs,” he added.
Mashrafe, who was sitting beside Liton during the press conference, said he is happy to see Liton establishing him on the international circuit.
“There are two batsmen I always like watching - one is Virat Kohli and the other is Liton. There are many batsmen who score a lot of runs in the world, but whenever they are at the crease it is a treat to watch and I have said that long ago. Liton can change the momentum, hold on to his wicket and play the big innings,” the outgoing skipper added.
“I believe he is able to pick the right moments and his game is in his head now, as he has gained some experience after playing four years in international cricket. The hundred he had scored against India in the final of the Asia Cup, I think it is his natural game. I have always told him that,” Mashrafe further said, adding that he is glad he could keep a promise of promoting Liton up the order made during the tour of the West Indies in 2018.
“Liton was telling me that he wants to bat at the top when we were in the West Indies [in 2018]. In three matches there he didn’t play and Bijoy [Anamul Haque] opened in all the three matches. After the second ODI, when Anamul failed everyone wanted Liton to be in the playing XI as he had scored runs in the practice game, we discussed it with him and gave Bijoy another chance in the third match and Liton was upset at that time,” Mashrafe said.
“While discussing it with him for about half an hour, he told me that he wanted to play in his best position and then if he failed to perform then the full responsibility would have been his. That gave me a lot of confidence, as a young player was taking responsibility. So, I gave him my word that the next time, whenever you will bat, I will make sure you are opening,” he added.