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20 Oct 2021
Re-establishing his all-around credentials and reclaiming his status as Bangladesh’ biggest match-winner, Shakib Al Hasan put his hands up just at the right time for his side in the ongoing T20 World Cup.
Bangladesh have not been at their best in the ongoing T20 World Cup but just when they were on the verge of another shocking loss that could have ended their journey in the tournament inside the first round, Shakib Al Hasan shone bright both with the ball and bat to help them get over the line against the hosts Oman.
They had suffered an embarrassing defeat against Scotland and found themselves under enormous pressure once again before Shakib forged an 80 run partnership with the opener Mohammad Naim.
He later came back with the ball and took three wickets including the crucial wicket of Jatinder Singh, who was looking set on a 32-ball 40. He was awarded the Man of the Match award for his all-round contribution to Bangladesh’s win over Oman.
He outlined the role played by the duo of Mohammad Saifuddin and Mahedi Hasan and said that their spells that yielded only 30 runs for the opposition brought them back in the game. He also said that the morale in the Bangladesh camp would be lighter after a much-needed win that keeps them going in the tournament.
"I think the bowling of Saifuddin and Mahedi was the turning point as they probably had given less than 30 runs to bring us back in the game. I think the win is certainly relieving and I feel the atmosphere in the dressing room will be better after this win," Shakib said.
However, he did not overlook the struggle of his side so far in the tournament and outlined their loss at the hands of Scotland and the hard work required for the win over Oman.
He did not fall short of praise for the Scotts though and said that there are no favourites in the format and that any team who get two or three best performances on a particular day can defeat anyone.
"I think the loss against Scotland was disappointing and we must credit them while even today we had to work hard to earn the win against Oman. Look, we must credit the associate countries as they play despite all the hurdles and they are playing good cricket so I feel they deserve all the credit. In the T20 format there is no favourite as everyone has to play well and as this is a short format only one or two players can change the momentum or have a huge impact behind a win,” Shakib added.
Bangladesh have been found wanting in the tournament so far, especially in the batting department and Shakib conceded the scope of improvement for his fellow batsmen in the side. He said that the batsmen are underperforming both at the start and towards the end of an innings. He highlighted the target of 170 runs that would be sufficient for the bowlers to win them the game as a major goal going forward.
"There is room for improvement in the batting as we have scored 150 runs and we can add 20 to 25 runs to it. If we can add 15 runs in the power play and 10 runs at the end it can be done and we are capable of it. If we can score 170 runs with the bowling attack we can fight against any team and we need this improvement,” Shakib concluded.
Bangladesh are set to play their last game against Papua New Guinea and a win over them will ost certainly seal a place for them in the super 12 phase of the competition.