Mushfiqur Rahim reveals how Mashrafe Mortaza inspired them before the Pakistan game
By Sandy - Sep 27, 2018 7:34 pm
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On Wednesday, during the Super Four stage game of Asia Cup 2018 against Pakistan at Abu Dhabi, Bangladeshi wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim became the first ever Bangladesh cricketer to be dismissed on 99 runs in the international cricket. However, Rahim claims that it’s not hurting him anymore after Bangladesh’s brilliant 37-run victory to secure their place to the final of the tournament.

Mushfiqur Rahim

Rahim’s brilliant knock helped Bangladesh to manage a fighting total of 239 runs before getting all-out. In reply, Pakistan was restricted to 202/9 at the end of 50 overs.

In the post-match press conference, the Player of the Match Rahim said, “To be honest, after winning, I am not hurting anymore. I don’t know how much you know about this, but I always believe that the team comes first. If I scored a century, and we scored 260 but lost the match, I wouldn’t have felt good. This is not just lip service, but comes from my heart.”

Rahim claimed it was one of his best knocks and also praised Mohammad Mithun who scored 60 runs in an important time and provided a crucial match-saving 144-run partnership with Rahim for the fourth wicket.

Mohammad Mithun and Mushfiqur Rahim

Rahim said, “This (innings) is definitely top five. We needed one partnership badly at that time. The wicket was pretty good to bat on and we knew that with the quality Pakistan had with the new ball we knew that we might lose a couple of early wickets; that can happen to any side.

“But the way we bounced back was very important. And I think I should credit Mithun as well because the way he batted – he played very well in the first game and was under pressure in the next two games – but the way he backed himself was great from a young cricketer, seeing him play his shots and everything. The plan was to just knock the ball around in the first couple of overs because we knew that after losing three wickets the team (Pakistan) would be geared up and charged up against us. So we coped with the pressure really well in the first part and in the latter part we carried on with the run rate.”

Rahim felt disappointed after getting out on 99 runs. Talking about that he clarified that he wished to bat till the end as it was not easy for the new batsmen to score quick runs at the death against the top Pakistan bowlers.

Rahim added, “My disappointment (at getting out) was heightened because, as I kept saying after going into the dressing room, as a set batsman I should have batted at least until the 48th over. With the bowling quality they have even at the death, it is not easy to hit when you are new to the crease. We barely scored 100 runs (103) in the last 20 overs. So it was obviously disappointing for me. But I think the team winning is most important.”

Bangladesh had to play that virtual semi-final against the strong Pakistan team without having two main cricketers Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan. However, the skipper Mashrafe Mortaza inspired them in that tough time which made everyone pumped up.

Skipper Mashrafe Mortaza inspired Bangladesh team

Rahim revealed, “Mashrafe bhai told us one thing… we talked about one thing: when at war, you don’t look back. Either kill or be killed — one or the other. So that was a huge inspiration, because when you are at war you don’t look at who your captain is, who’s there or not there.

“You have to fight 100 per cent with what you have. So we thought that if we give our 100 per cent without thinking about the result. There will come a time when I won’t be there — no one is there forever. The five of us (seniors Mashrafe, Shakib, Tamim, Mahmudullah and I) will not be there at one point but even then you have to go on. So this was the talk and everyone was pumped up from there.”