T20 World Cup 2021 | Atmosphere in the dressing room will be better after win against Oman, says Shakib Al Hasan

T20 World Cup 2021 | Atmosphere in the dressing room will be better after win against Oman, says Shakib Al Hasan

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Shakib Al Hasan was named Player of the Match for his all-round show in Bangladesh's win against Oman


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Shakib Al Hasan, who starred with both bat and ball in Bangladesh’s first win of the T20 World Cup 2021, against Oman at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground on Tuesday, was highly pleased with the result and the team’s overall effort. Shakib scored a 29-ball 43, before returning 3/28 in a 26-run win.

Bangladesh suffered a major jolt right at the start of their T20 World Cup 2021 campaign, going down to Scotland after they had the opposition down at 53/6 in the 12th over. 

In a must-win game against Oman on Tuesday, Mohammad Naim, replacing the experienced Soumya Sarkar, turned it on with the bat, so too did Shakib Al Hasan, before bowlers put an all-round show to complete the task.

The win wasn’t as comfortable though as a 26-run margin would suggest. Oman had Bangladesh 29/2 at the end of the powerplay, and if not for the dropped catches, the target could perhaps have been much less than 154. Later, Jatinder Singh (40 off 33) had the home side well-placed in the chase, before Shakib’s decisive intervention.

The all-rounder stated that the win was relieving for the team, while acknowledging the brilliance of both their opponents.

"I think the win is certainly relieving and I feel the atmosphere in the dressing room will be better after this win," said Shakib, who received the Player of the Match award after a 29-ball 43 and returns of 3/28.

"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 credited Mohammad Saifuddin and Mahedi Hasan, who conceded just 30 runs in eight overs between them, while bagging a wicket each. He admitted that catching was difficult, on a day when both teams shelled a few.

"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," he said.

"If we can score 170 runs with the bowling attack we can fight against any team and we need this improvement."

"Holding a catch at night is difficult because the light is low and when the ball goes over the light it becomes difficult to keep an eye on the ball and there is another thing that the ball seems to travel fast. We cannot give excuses as we have done enough training here so we should be used to it."

The win keeps Bangladesh afloat in the tournament, and the focus now shifts to their last Round 1 fixture against Papua New Guinea on Thursday.

"I feel if we can beat PNG we will be through and after that we can say what we want to do next but first we have to qualify," said Shakib.

"When we left the country we dreamt of achieving something big and we still hold on to that dream. If we had said that we have come here to lose every match would you have taken that well? Dreams cannot be changed every now and then."

Skipper Mahmudullah admitted that the team still had certain areas to work on, and praised Shakib and Naim for their match-winning contributions.

“We'll take this win, but I think there are a lot of areas we need to improve,” Mahmudullah said after the match. “I hope everyone is happy. Thanks to the crowd that came in, they expect us to win. Delivering a win for them, for the country is the most important thing.

“Shakib and Naim batted brilliantly, they had a good partnership and that took us to 150-plus. But we should have done better with the new ball, bowled a lot of wides. We need to see those areas and correct them. I think our death bowling was going well. In the middle part we brought the game back. But the first six overs - batting and bowling - we need to improve.”

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