Just before the series against Afghanistan, there was a lot of talk about how dangerous the Afghanistan spinners are and how they affect the smallest version of the game, since teams all over the world have trouble dealing with Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman’s level.
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan said that the team wasn’t worried about any one player. However, the team management did have a plan to get star leggie Rashid and secret spinner Mujeeb to play in the first T20I, which the Tigers won by two wickets in Sylhet on Friday.
In the chase for 155 runs, Bangladesh stayed ahead of the game by not giving Rashid and Mujeeb catches and instead going after Afghanistan’s fourth and fifth bowlers.
Both Mujeeb and Rashid only took one wicket, giving up 22 and 24 runs, respectively, as the home team went after bowlers like Azmatullah Omarzai, who gave up 34 runs in three overs. Fazalhaq Farooqi got one out and gave up 36 runs in his four overs.
Even though the last over was tense and Karim Janat got a hat-trick, the home team kept their cool and won in the end.
“We had a plan because they have the best spin attack in the world and it’s hard to get runs against them. But we still tried to take chances and make sure our plan worked. I think that every international cricket game is hard because each team is strong in different ways. But we were able to carry out our plan on Friday,” Towhid Hridoy told the media yesterday. He was named player of the match for his perfect 47.
Hridoy hit three fours and two sixes on his way to his best T20I score. He also put together an important 73-run fifth-wicket stand with Shamim Hossain, who scored 33 off 25 balls before becoming Rashid’s only victim of the game.
The Tigers are going in the right way, says Hridoy, who is 22 years old.
“Everyone on the team supports and backs each other because we all know what our chances are. To be honest, we were very optimistic no matter how bad things looked. We always try to put our attention on what we do well. We work well together as a team, which helps. “Coach tells us what to do, and we try to do it,” he said.