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Dhaka Tribune

Mushfiq confident of final berth

Update : 13 Mar 2018, 12:10 AM
Wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim is confident of playing the final of the Nidahas T20I tri-nation series, despite being the least favourite among the three teams in the series. Mushfiq's confidence came from Bangladesh's record five-wicket win over host Sri Lanka Saturday in Colombo’s R Premadasa Cricket Stadium. The Tigers had chased down a massive 215-run target, riding on Mushfiq's unbeaten, match-winning 35-ball 72, to pick up their first win in two matches and keep alive their chance of progressing to the final. "India and Sri Lanka are favourites, compared to Bangladesh, for the final. But I believe the team playing better cricket on the day in T20Is get to a win. We have been able to execute our batting plan in the last game and that's why we won the game. We still have chances of making it to the final - we have two more matches to play. I hope we will win the next game and get the ticket for the final," said Mushfiq to the media in Colombo Monday. Bangladesh will take on former world T20 champion India in their next game. The Tigers had started the series losing to India by six wickets last week. Mushfiq believes with the win against Sri Lanka, the Tigers will be able to boost themselves from their horrendous performances recently. Bangladesh had reached Colombo earlier this month with chin downs due to humiliating defeats at home against Sri Lanka earlier this year.

Also read: Bangladesh unhappy with practice facilities at SSC

"The team badly needed the win. We had said before leaving Dhaka that the earlier we get to a win, the better for the team. We are happy to have it now but we are treating it like another game. We still have two more games left in the series to qualify for the final. I hope that the team will carry the confidence and hold onto the momentum as it is very important, given the short format of the game," Mushfiq explained. Bangladesh Saturday had failed miserably with the ball, having asked Sri Lanka to bat first. The Lankans posted 214 runs in their stipulated 20 overs losing six wickets. However, the side were able to pull off a brilliant execution with the bat, scoring 200-plus to clinch victory, a rare sight indeed for the Tigers in the shortest format. Following the win, opener Tamim Iqbal, who had scored 47 to set his side the perfect platform for the record chase, had said it is important for Bangladesh to play their own brand of T20I cricket for success. The theory came from simple reality that Bangladesh do not carry the luxury of hard-hitting batsmen or impact bowlers in the format. Mushfiq echoed the same sentiment to that of Tamim. "It's always better to realise your own ability rather than thinking of what others can do. It is always better to assess your team's strength and weakness. We have been trying to do that, considering that we are not consistent in T20Is. We have been playing for the last few years but comparatively, not as many matches like the others. You always need time for a strategy and plan to develop. It becomes difficult to stick with the plan when you are not getting results. Like Tamim said, we do not have hard-hitters but smart cricketers. It is not that we are playing this format just to participate because we don't have heavyweight cricketers like other teams," said Mushfiq.
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