DHAKA: Left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman tore through the Indian batting order once again to help Bangladesh seal the three-match ODI series with a thumping six-wicket win in Dhaka on Sunday.
Mustafizur picked up where he had left off in the opening match, when he claimed 5-50, to grab 6-43 and help bowl India out for 200 runs, a target Bangladesh reached in just 38 overs.
The hosts were given a target of 200 runs in 47 overs based on the Duckworth/Lewis method after rain interrupted play.
Bangladesh faced little problem reaching that figure thanks to Shakib alHasan’s second successive 50.
The win, which followed Thursday’s 79-run success, all but confirmed Bangladesh’s place in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy in England after they cemented the seventh position in the ODI rankings.
Hosts England, plus seven top-ranked one-day sides will progress to the tournament.
“To be playing in the Champions Trophy is a big achievement for us,” said Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza.
“Every time we were shaken someone took over. That is a big thing. The way Mustafizur is bowling, he has become the big fish. Many series [are] coming up, hopefully we can keep on performing like this.”
The hosts’ batting prowess
The Bangladesh batsmen went hard at India’s bowling in both matches and Mustafizur ran through the vaunted Indian batting, leading to margins that took even the Bangladesh skipper by surprise.
“This is one of the biggest achievements. Actually I think the boys are really confident. Maybe we didn’t expect [to win] that way,” said the medium pacer.
“But we always thought that we are going to play to win and fight till the last ball. Obviously I know that if we play our best cricket, it will be competitive. But we can win as well.”
While Bangladesh have surprised top teams in the past, they have suffered from a lack of consistency and Mortaza said he hoped his team can continue delivering results.
“Our biggest problem was the consistency,” he said. “In cricket, momentum is very important so hopefully the boys will keep it up.”
Earlier in the day, Shikhar Dhawan scored 53 runs while skipper MS Dhoni chipped in with 47 as India toiled against some fine Bangladesh bowling in a bid to stay alive in the series.
“It’s pretty simple to see what went wrong,” said Dhoni after the match. “We need to put runs on the board.
“We didn’t get to a good start, and whenever there was a partnership we lost two wickets together. You have to take risks in such a game, but if you keep losing two wickets in a row, it becomes difficult to do so.”
The third and final ODI will be held at same venue on June 24.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2015.
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