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| Dhaka, Sunday, 19 November 2017

We played with more freedom: Shakib

2017-04-07 15:09:19
We played with more freedom: Shakib

Thereport24.com Desk:

Freedom was the hallmark of Bangladesh’s victory in the second T20I, said Bangladesh allrounder Shakib Al Hasan, who top-scored for his side with a 31-ball 38, before claiming 3 for 24, having opened the bowling.

That Bangladesh played without fear was clear in the first six overs of the match: Soumya Sarkar and Imrul Kayes cracked eight fours and three sixes inside the Powerplay, fetching 68 runs. Shakib subsequently consolidated the innings alongside Sabbir Rahman and Mosaddek Hossain. Even though Bangladesh lost quick wickets towards the end of the innings, 176 for 9 always seemed a formidable score.

The 45-run victory was Bangladesh's first in the format since they beat Oman in Dharamsala in March last year.

"We played with more freedom in the second T20I, compared to the first game," Shakib said. "I think it is a positive sign. We have to play like this in T20s. It is important because we hadn't won the last eight games. The Asia Cup last year was our last good tournament. It was a big challenge for us in this game, as we had lost the first game. This is a satisfying win."

Though Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza didn't have an especially memorable game himself - he got out for a golden duck, and then returned 1 for 30 from his four overs - his team was intent on sending their captain into retirement with a win, Shakib said.

Furthermore, despite being the frontrunner to take over the reins from Mashrafe as the new T20I captain, Shakib said he was "not thinking about captaincy" at present. Instead, he chose to dwell on Mashrafe's legacy.

"Mashrafe is a special figure in the dressing room," Shakib said. "Naturally, everyone will miss him. We need support on and off the field, and there's no one more helpful than him. Nobody can play forever, so I wish him all the very best in life. I would want him to continue in the ODI team for a long time, and take Bangladesh cricket forward."

Shakib stopped short of proclaiming the Sri Lanka tour as Bangladesh's best-ever abroad, but mentioned that victories in the country were "rare". All three series were drawn 1-1.

"We made huge improvements in the Test series after losing the first game. In ODIs, we showed the consistency of the last couple of years. We didn't bat well in the third ODI, but overall we had a mindset change in Tests and T20s. We don't often win like this abroad."

Source: ESPNcricinfo

Ends/thereport24.com/S/Apr 07, 2017

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