Dhaka, Dec 4 (IANS): When Bangladesh were reduced to 136/9 in the 40th over, from being 128/4 and triggered by senior pros Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim falling on consecutive deliveries, Bangladesh seemed all but out of the chase as an Indian victory seemed imminent.
But Mehidy Hasan Miraz, along with Mustafizur Rahman, had other ideas. As Rahman defended and hit two fours in his ten not out, Mehidy sliced, scooped, pulled, and punched to be unbeaten on 38, hitting four fours and two sixes to complete a stunning come-from-behind victory for Bangladesh.
As India melted under pressure as drop catches, fielding lapses, overthrows and wayward bowling made appearances in the last six overs, Mehidy and Mustafizur grew in confidence to launch a stunning last-wicket counter-attack to give the hosts a 1-0 lead in the three-match series and be the heroes for Bangladesh.
"Thanks to Allah. I am really happy and excited. Mustafizur and I just thought that we need to believe. I just told him to stay calm and play 20 balls. I was only thinking about focusing on one area and believing in that strategy."
"I am really enjoying bowling (1/43 in nine overs). I tried to bowl wicket to wicket with the ball. The wicket in the morning was a bit tricky, and I enjoyed bowling. This performance is really memorable for me," said Mehidy, who took the Player of the Match award.
The partnership of 51 between Mehidy and Mustafizur was the second-highest for Bangladesh in ODIs for the tenth wicket. It was also the fourth-highest partnership for the tenth wicket in a successful run-chase in men's ODIs. It was a match that Bangladesh fans and players will talk about for years to come.
"Very happy. When I was in the dressing room, I was really nervous, but the way Fizz and Miraz batted, I enjoyed it a lot in the last six-seven overs. The bowlers bowled really well at the start. When me and Shakib were batting, we thought we could chase it easily."
"But when we got out, it got tricky. Siraj and Shardul bowled very well in the middle overs and shifted the momentum toward their side. I had faith in others but I have no words to describe this feeling. Congratulations to Mehidy for an outstanding innings," said a delighted captain Litton Das, who got a win under his belt in his ODI captaincy debut.