Najmul praises bowling unit after tight win - Cricket News | Cricket Updates | Match Report

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Saturday, June 8, 2024

Najmul praises bowling unit after tight win

 Bangladesh won in thrilling fashion with just two wickets left.

Bangladesh won in thrilling fashion with just two wickets left. © AFP

Bangladesh skipper Najmul Hossain credited his bowling unit for holding their nerves in the middle overs against Sri Lanka as it helped them start their ICC T20 World Cup campaign on the right note in Dallas on Saturday.

Bangladesh opted to field and it looked like they were on the verge of paying the price for it after the powerplay when Sri Lanka put up 53 for two and looked set to pose a challenging total before their bowling unit regrouped to restrict them to 124-9, courtesy three wickets from Rishad Hossain and Mustafizur Rahman.

"I did not have any doubt even when they were doing good (in the poweplay) as I always had the faith (in my bowling unit) and the game is like that one or two wickets can help us to make a comeback and the way our bowlers are performing in the last couple of series I was very confident about them and they did that," Najmul told reporters following their win.

"I think we did not get a good start but later the way everyone was calm, they showed good character. We know the batting was not good but on such a wicket and in pressure game things like these will happen and it was a very important match for them. They tried a lot but at the end of the day we got two points and that is why I am feeling good," he said.

Najmul also admitted that this has been the most high-pressure match he has played so far in his career given the brewing rivalry between these two sides. "You can say that and I felt that way (on the pressure) and even from the last two days we all knew. Personally I felt I did not play such a high pressure match before but we could win the game. We all knew how important this match is for us," he said.

Even though the batting unit didn't click once again, Najmul refused to point fingers and insisted that the set batter should bat for a longer period to help the team cross the finishing line. "I don't think we need to have lot of worries (regarding the batting) and I would say this because it was a pressure match and at the end of the day we want to win and if we are talking about result we got two points. All the batsman know that we have not batted well but everyone wont bat well everyday like Hridoy played well and Riyad bhai ended the game while Litton after a while gave a good start and so there are some good things and what I hope is that whoever gets set he should win the game for us like I don't feel that everyday all the seven batsman of the team will play well," said Najmul.

"I think that the game is not only for the openers because all the seven eight batsmen have responsibilities and whoever gets set should end the game and I am hoping in the next game the openers will give a good start.

Admitting that the win would boost their confidence, Najmul played down the chatter surrounding the wicket in New York, the venue against South Africa for their next game. "About the New York wicket we have seen that game between Sri Lanka and South Africa on TV. The whole team sat together and watched that game as we did not practice that day. We planned how we should play and there is the India-Pakistan match on the 9th that will give us another opportunity to see the wicket so we have some little idea about the pitch and we have to bat and bowl according to the wicket that is prepared for our game," he added.

Meanwhile, Sri Lankan pacer Nuwan Thushara, who picked 4-18, insisted they were 20 runs short. "The pitch was a difficult one and it was hard for the batters. We were just 20 runs short. If we could have scored those 20 extra runs, we could have won this match. But we did our best for 120 too as we wanted to win this match somehow. We played till the last ball thinking that we could win this match," said Nuwan adding that his stint with Mumbai Indians in the just concluded IPL helped him to keep his calm under pressure.

"I think the ones (pitches) in India were very different, those had higher scores and it was hard to bowl there. So, I think it was easier for me to put what I learnt there to this match, as in how to handle the pressure and things like that," he concluded.

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