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Dhaka Tribune

Shakib: Papon bhai had told me to play

Update : 17 Mar 2018, 06:24 AM
The last couple of weeks has been a rollercoaster ride for Bangladesh T20I captain Shakib al Hasan. The left-arm ace all-rounder was initially ruled out from the Nidahas T20I tri-nation series due to slow recovery of his injured finger but efforts to bring him back into action did not stop. Shakib had flew to Colombo, following a medical checkup in Thailand, to inspire the team ahead of Bangladesh's first game, against India on March 6 at R Premadasa Cricket Stadium in Colombo. He then flew home to board a flight to Australia for another medical assessment. He then flew back home, picked up his cricket gears and reported to the team in Colombo Thursday for the crucial game against Sri Lanka the next day.And all the efforts resulted in a nail-biting and penultimate ball two-wicket win over the home team Friday at the same venue. Shakib, having batted only once in the nets after returning from injury, looked in his elements right away when Bangladesh bowled first. In his second over, Shakib removed opener Danushka Gunathilaka to initiate a top-over debacle and give Bangladesh the momentum. As it were, it was only a sign of things to come as the Tigers recorded a memorable win. Shakib following their emphatic win over Sri Lanka informed that BCB president Nazmul Hasan had told him to reach Colombo and see if he can "at least" bowl for the team, if possible. There was argument if Bangladesh were being desperate to get Shakib back before gaining match fitness."The last 10 days was a roller-coaster. I went to Thailand and Australia, came to Sri Lanka, went back to Bangladesh and now I am back in Sri Lanka. I didn't think I would play (Friday's) game. I trained for just one day in Dhaka. Papon bhai (BCB president Nazmul) told me that if you can bowl, it would help the team," Shakib told the media following the game Friday. Shakib in the game had bowled just two overs and picked up one wicket. He also scored seven runs in Bangladesh's 160-run chase. The decision to not complete the four overs had come from his backfooted decision of not bowling to the Sri Lanka left-handed batters. The strategy saw the Bangladesh captain not use left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam Apu thoughout the game.

Also read: Was Bangladesh underestimated in Nidahas Trophy?

"It was because there were two left-handers. If we got one more wicket, it would have opened the floodgate. They didn't have any other batsman. I was thinking that if we get one wicket, I'd bring Apu or myself. But we never got that chance until the last over. Luckily our combination worked well; Mahmudullah and Mehedi [Hasan Miraz] bowled well. There were areas to improve, especially our fast bowlers can bowl better. Their figure doesn't reflect their talent. Hopefully they can do well for the team next time," Shakib explained. "I could have gone into a safe side by saying I am not match fit. But I felt that it is an opportunity. I may not contribute a lot but it may still help the team. Being the captain of a winning team is a big thing. Credit goes to everyone, including our bowlers. It was a 180-190 wicket but we bowled very well in the first 10 overs. T20 is unpredictable but the biggest satisfaction is the win," the Bangladesh captain added.
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