Mashrafe bin Mortaza heaped praise on paceman Rubel Hossain, who bowled an excellent 49th over in the third ODI against the Windies, conceding just six runs to finally tilt the game in favour of the Tigers
Bangladesh have won quite a few ODI series in recent times at home, against the likes of Pakistan, India and South Africa, among others. However, an away series win proved to be elusive as it has been nine long years since the Tigers last clinched a series victory abroad.
The men in red and green came agonisingly close to sealing an away series win against Sri Lanka last year when the Tigers led 1-0 at one stage. The second and penultimate ODI however, was washed out while visiting Bangladesh lost the series-decider in Colombo as the Lankans squared the series.
The away series win against the West Indies Saturday at Warner Park in Saint Kitts and Nevis therefore, came as a relief in the Tigers dressing room. Bangladesh clinched the three-match ODI series against the Windies following an 18-run win in the third and final game and the significance of the away success was not lost on ODI captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza.
“We needed this victory. If you notice our results in the last few months, we were desperate for this win. This series win will inspire us for the Asia Cup,” said Mashrafe after the game.
The six-nation Asia Cup will be held in the UAE in September and the Tigers have been grouped in Pool B alongside Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. Pool A comprises India, Pakistan and the qualifier.
He added, “Cricket has always been a mental game. We lost the last game (by three runs in the second and penultimate ODI at Providence Stadium in Guayana Wednesday). But I think the lads were professional. They were all in good touch.
“With that said, the series win is not everything. Because we have a lot of things we need to work on. We have to be really attentive with our fielding.”
Mashrafe also heaped praise on paceman Rubel Hossain, who bowled an excellent 49th over in the third ODI against the Windies, conceding just six runs to finally tilt the game in favour of the Tigers.
“Rubel did extremely well. It was important for him to remove [Chris] Gayle. Because Gayle was keeping the flow of runs going,” said the charismatic skipper.
He continued, “Tamim [Iqbal], Shakib [al Hasan] and Mushfiqur [Rahim] all played well. Now the juniors have to step up.”