Chittagong: Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan was full of praise for the ninth-wicket pair of Mahmudullah and Shafiul Islam, who guided the team to stunning win over England in a group B World Cup match, here on Friday.
The pair raised 58 runs for the ninth wicket to lead Bangladesh to victory, and Shakib said both the batsmen showed great character. "Mahmudullah and Shafiul batted exceptionally well. They showed character. All the hard work has paid off," Shakib said after the match.
The Bangladesh skipper said conditions suited them in the first session. "Conditions were suitable to us as the ball was holding a bit6. Eoin Morgan batted brilliantly but we kept on the pressure. We knew that it would be difficult for a new batsman," he said. It turned out to be an unbelievable outing for the hosts after being made to stutter at 169 for 8 at one stage. "When they hit the last ball, I realised that we have won the match," he said.
The skipper, whose house was stoned after their loss humiliating loss to West Indies, was pleased to give the country something to cheer about. "Our country is very emotional about cricket. Now, we hope to win the next two games and depend on result of other matches," Shakib said.
England skipper Andrew Strauss was a disappointed man, but hoped his players would use the defeat to inspire them in the next match. "It`s very disappointing. But we have to channel the frustration and use that in our next match. West Indies is a big game for us," Strauss said.
He also praise Ajmal Shahzad`s effort, saying that the bowler bowled very well. Man of the Match Imrul Kayes, who held the innings together with a solid half century, said his role was to stay at the wicket.
"Thanks to Allah. With Tamim at the other end, my role was to stay at the wicket," he said.
After a solid start, Bangladesh fumbled a bit thanks to their middle-order batsmen, but Kayes hoped they would come good in the coming matches. Apart from scoring a half century, Kayes also pulled off a brilliant catch to bring to an end Morgan`s innings, and he latter admitted that it was an "important wicket".