Top-order needs to click, says Mahmudullah

 

Top-order needs to click, says Mahmudullah
Bangladesh batsman Mahmudullah (right) and Kayes cross over for a run during the Asia Cup match against Afghanistan at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi - Even in a celebratory mood, Mahmudullah was mindful about the task ahead

By Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Mon 24 Sep 2018, 10:20 PM

Last updated: Tue 25 Sep 2018, 12:26 AM

Bangladesh held their nerves to beat Afghanistan in the Super Four encounter and stay relevant in the Asia Cup 2018. And it was a hard-fought victory achieved in the most dramatic of ways.
From tottering at 87 runs for five wickets, Mohammad Mahmudullah and Imrul Kayes with 128-run sixth-wicket stand set a target of 250 runs. Mustafizur Rahman then defended eight runs from the last over to book a virtual semifinal date with Pakistan on Wednesday.
Taking a dig at his own batting department, Mahmudullah said that there were occasions in the past when his own players had fail to chase such a target. "Sometimes we didn't score 8 or 9 runs from six balls but our bowlers have defended it. So it was quite pleasing."
Even in a celebratory mood, Mahmudullah was mindful about the task ahead and the urgent need to address the batting woes.
"We still need to work on few areas. I will give full credit to our bowling department but there are few areas to work on in our batting, especially at the start and top-order. There are areas we can still improve on. Our middle-order is fine and the top-order needs to click."
However, he noted that opener Nazmul Hossain Shanto, who has failed to click so far in the tournament, is a bright prospect and should be given more opportunities to prove his caliber.
He lauded the efforts of Kayes to fly in for the match and then play a stellar knock.
"He is a top-order batsman. So for him to get down and play at number six against such an attack was quite outstanding."
He said to have also won a personal battle against spinner Rashid Khan.
"Rashid is their strike bowler but it doesn't mean he is unplayable. Earlier, I wasn't able to apply myself against him but during the partnership we decided not to give a wicket to him. We wanted to go deep and see it till the end. We achieved our target."
Mahmudullah said the match was close and no side enjoyed had upper hand till the last ball was bowled. "They played good cricket, had good partnership and held their nerves well but at the end we came on top through Mustafizur Rahman."
Mahmudullah said that all bowlers performed well but Mustafizur's act was special.
"I saw him stretching. He was in pain. It wasn't easy. He was struggling with cramps but did it for the country and team. It was a brilliant last over," Mahmudullah added.
Bangladesh next play Pakistan on Wednesday for a place in final.
ashwani@khaleejtimes.com
 

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