Tuesday, September 29

Lessons from a 2016 heartbreak

The one-run defeat to India in the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 in Bengaluru will remain one of the most disappointing defeats in Bangladesh cricket.

Chasing a 147-run target, Bangladesh required two runs off the last three deliveries from Hardik Pandya with two experienced and set batsman in Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah Riyad at the crease.

But off the next two deliveries, both Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah went for big shots and perished as the Tigers went on to face a dramatic defeat.

Most Bangladesh supporters would probably like to forget the game, but Bangladesh ODI skipper recalled that heartbreak during Saturday’s last episode — with Mushfiqur, Mahmudullah and former ODI skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza — of his Facebook Live interactions with Bangladeshi and foreign cricketers.

Tamim asked Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur how they managed to overcome that horrible experience as the duo later won many matches for Bangladesh.

Mahmudullah said there were several occasions after that defeat when the right-hander experienced doubts about himself whenever he faced a similar situation.

“It was very difficult for me. We all know how the situation was in the dressing room or in the team hotel. Everyone was sitting outside their room till late at night. That wound will never heal but then again, whenever I batted in a crunch situation, that moment haunted me. I doubted my ability to take the team across the line,” Mahmudullah said.

But according to Mahmudullah, it was his match-winning, unbeaten 43 against Sri Lanka in the Nidahas Trophy in 2017 — when he smashed a six off Isuru Udana when Bangladesh required six off the last two balls — that helped him to regain self-belief.

“I regained my confidence after that knock in the Nidahas trophy. But before that, that memory chased me and I doubted myself,” he said.

There was huge criticism over Mushfiqur’s early celebration after striking back-to-back boundaries in the last over. According to the right-hander, who celebrated 15 years as an international cricketer yesterday, it was a horrible experience to recover from which it took him a lot of time.

“It was unreal, to be honest. I never expected to lose from there. After hitting two consecutive fours, I was only thinking that I have to cross the line. I celebrated in the heat of the moment but I did not plan it or anything. And in the next ball, I did not think about one or two runs. I thought that after the two fours the bowler was under pressure and he might make a mistake. The ball was in the slot but I could not execute the shot. Maybe it would have been better if Riyad bhai was on strike because he is a lot more cool-headed than me.

“It was a horrid time. And it took a lot of time to recover from it. I had also doubted myself for some time but I regained it [confidence] after I took Bangladesh over the line in the first match against Sri Lanka [in the Nidahas Trophy],” said Mushfiqur.

However, the experienced wicketkeeper-batsman also said that the defeat against India had taught both him and Mahmudullah a big lesson, of which they remind each other in similar situations.

“Since that defeat when the two of us were together in a crunch moment, we reminded ourselves of that incident and we managed to overcome that. So, I think everything has a learning curve and that was one for us,” he added.

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