The jubilant Captain of Bangladesh, Mushfiqur Rahim has anticipated winning the Asia Cup 2012 with the continuous brilliant performance of the team.
The Bengal Tigers have forced themselves to the finals of the coveted Asia Cup by defeating the formidable Sri Lankans by five wickets on March 20, 2012 at Shere Bangla National Stadium where all matches have been played.
Sri Lanka had played beaming cricket in the recently concluded Commonwealth Bank Series 2011-12 which was held in Australia. The hosts and India participated in the tri-series. The Lankan Lions qualified for the best of three finals with the home side which was alternately won by the Kangaroos 2-1. They faced humiliation in the Asia Cup while losing all three matches against India, Pakistan and the hosts.
Bangladesh is having an excellent tournament under the brilliant coaching of Stuart Law who has escalated the confidence of team to the peaks recently. The young chaps under the captaincy of Mushfiqur Rahim are doing wonders and have emerged as a fighting unit who believe in delivering their best even in the trying conditions.
They started the tournament by competing with Pakistan in the inaugural match of the tournament which was played on March 11, 2012. The Green Shirts scored 262 runs for the loss of eight wickets in the allotted 50 overs where Mohammad Hafeez smashed 89 runs. Bangladesh was chasing well and had reached 224 after losing six wickets, then their batting collapsed and the entire team was bowled out for 241 runs, hence losing the match by just 21 runs.
Bangladesh played their second match against the current World champions, India on March 16, 2012. The Blue shirts posted a reasonable total of 289 runs at the cost of five wickets in 50 overs. It was a memorable match for the little master, Sachin Tendulkar as he thrashed his 100th international hundred by dispatching 114 runs. The home side achieved the target by plundering 293 runs for the loss of five wickets in 49.2 overs and won the exciting match.
The final league match against Sri Lanka was staged on March 20 where the visitors managed 232 runs before they were bowled out in 49.5 overs. The match was interrupted by rain and the home side was required to chase 212 runs in 40 overs. They were in trouble at the beginning of their innings after losing three wickets for 40 runs but achieved the target in 37.1 overs.
Mushfiqur Rahim was pleased with the performance of his team in the tournament where quite a few members of his team performed well. He said,
“It has been a great tournament for us. Everyone chipped in. In the tough situations there are five or six people performing in every game, and hopefully, we will continue in the final.”
The local crowd has been following their team in every match and especially they were backed up by their Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who was among the spectators in the match against Sri Lanka. Mushfiqur felt proud of the support by the crowd and acknowledged it by saying,
“It is a great boost to have the crowd supporting you. Thanks to the crowd… under pressure a big crowd behind gives big boost.”
Bangladesh had a tough revised target of chasing 212 runs in 40 overs and the Sri Lankans got an edge duo to rain interruption. Just 20 runs were reduced from the total as 10 overs were deducted ‘as per Duckworth- Lewis method’. Earlier Nazmul Hossain broke the back of the visitors by clinching their three top order wickets in no time.
The Bengal Tigers opener Tamim Iqbal consolidated with a valuable partnership of 76 runs with the all rounder Shakib Al Hasan and they scored 59 and 56 runs respectively. Nasir Hossain and Mahmudullah saw them through with an unbroken partnership of 77 runs for the sixth wicket. The duo scored 36 and 32 runs in an ascending order as the target was achieved in 37.1 overs.
Mushfiqur hailed the accomplishment of the match winners who attained a difficult target and expressed his appreciation by saying,
“We had a stiff target after the rain, but Shakib (Al Hasan) and Tamim (Iqbal) batted well. Nazmul Hossain did well, that set up the game.”
Mushfiqur Rahim was sure that the entire team will continue in the same spirit and winning the final against Pakistan on March 22nd, 2012, will be a marvellous triumph. The thrilled Captain stated,
“The final is one of the biggest achievements in our cricketing history. Hopefully we will cross that hurdle.”