Shakib pleased with team’s fearless approach

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan was pleased with the fearless approach that the team showed in the first T20 International against England in their six-wicket victory at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium today.

England made a solid start to the match with its skipper Jos Buttler who made 42 ball-67, particularly looking in ominous touch. But Bangladesh, on the back of some disciplined bowling and a never-say-die attitude, neutralized his effect to restrict England to 156-6.

Thanks to Najmul Hossain Shanto’s serene, yet aggressive 30 ball-51 and Shakib’s 34 not out, Bangladesh sealed the deal in emphatic fashion, reaching the winning target with two overs to spare.

“The way we approached the game was fantastic, can’t ask more from our team. When we were bowling, we were under the pump but no one panicked,” Shakib said after the match.

There was reason to be worried with how Buttler and his opening partner Phil Salt starting the innings. Both were reprieved in the space of one ball as Shakib put down a sitter of Buttler on 20. It looked the missed chance would cost Bangladesh the game.

But that was not to be. Shakib said it’s where the team showed its character, which they want to continue till the next T20 World Cup.

“Everyone knew what they needed to do. All the bowlers stuck to their plans. Other than my dropped catch, everyone fielded really well. That’s what we want to do. In T20s, when you don’t think too much, you perform well. That’s the environment we are trying to create in the dressing room,” he added.

“Hopefully we can continue this. This is a very good start. If you think about 2024, we’ll be playing the World Cup in West Indies. We can build on from here. We can only get better so that we can put a very good team when the World Cup comes.”

During the chase, Bangladesh lost two wickets early even though Rony Talukdar who returned to the fold after eight years, gave them an aggressive start with 14 ball-21.

Shanto, then aided by Towhid Hridoy shared a 39 ball-65 runs partnership to edge Bangladesh closer.

“I just watched the ball and played cricketing shots. I wasn’t thinking about those two wickets. The way all the bowlers bowled, it was outstanding, especially Hasan and Taskin. I just had to bat normally,” Shanot said.

England skipper Jos Buttler knew his side was at least 20 runs short in this pitch but didn’t have the reservation to credit the unwavering resolve of Bangladesh.

“Bangladesh finished the innings really well. We were in a position to really kick on and launch at the end, but we couldn’t manage to get away. We were probably 20 short with our score and we had to chase a little bit in the field,” Buttler said.

“Low bounce and a little bit slow but it played pretty well, it was consistent throughout the game. Bangladesh came out and played with a lot of intent and took the game on. That put us under a lot of pressure.”

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