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ICC Champions Trophy 2017: We feel great now after having done our job, says Mashrafe Mortaza

The Bangladesh skipper is proud of the effort from his team and remains hopeful of making it to the semi-final.

Bangladesh chased down 266 after being reduced to 33/4

What’s the story?

Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza was visibly pleased with his team’s thumping victory against New Zealand in their last group match of the ICC Champions Trophy at Cardiff yesterday (June 9).

“We thought 266 was gettable, but after 33 for four it becomes very hard,” he said.

“Once the partnership got to a hundred I knew those two could make a difference. They’ve done it a lot of other times, but it was phenomenal to get a 200 partnership. We know Tamim cannot get a score every time, but we have got some excellent players who can win games,” the 33-year-old added. 

Mortaza said that he is extremely happy with the way hs team has performed in the last few years and believes that this performance will be imperative for the team’s preparations to the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

"We knew it was going to be difficult because conditions weren't that easy. But we gained confidence when we beat them (New Zealand) in Ireland in the tri-series. We knew this could happen, so we just told ourselves we need to play hard and should never give up.

“Having done our job, we do feel great right now. We have to wait now, but in the last three years we keep improving a lot. This sort of performance really help us to move forward, especially with the 2019 World Cup (in England) coming up. It will really boost the team,” he added. 

In case you didn’t know...

Bangladesh performed exceedingly well in the must-win game against Kane Williamson’s New Zealand yesterday to come out victorious at the other side of the contest. They were tattered and bruised at 33 for 4 with in-form batsman Tamim Iqbal returning to the pavilion with a 2nd-ball duck. 

However, seasonal campaigners Shakib-al Hasan and Mahmudullah scored two exceptional hundreds to guide Bangladesh to a beautifully-constructed chase.

Also read: 5 talking points from Bangladesh vs New Zealand

The details 

Talking about Bangladesh’s semi-final chances, Mortaza said that he would certainly like England to knock out Australia so that his team makes the cut. However, he was quick to add that a team like Australia won’t go down without a fight. 

He concluded by wishing luck to both the teams and seemed satisfied with the fact that his team did not leave any stone unturned on their part. 

Also read: Eoin Morgan credits Brendon McCullum for England’s ODI revival

What’s next?

The entire Bangladesh team would follow today’s encounter between England and Australia closely and will be hopeful of the former’s victory. Interestingly, both Bangladesh and Australia have a NRR of exactly 0.00. With 3 points, Bangladesh are a point ahead of Australia and will go through in case of England’s victory. 

However, Australia winning will get them to a total of 4 points and it will be tournament-over for Bangladesh. If the game is washed out, Mortaza’s team will go through based on their seeding in the group. 

Author’s take

Bangladesh’s inspired victory yesterday was the best thing that could’ve happened to world cricket. The team not only managed to qualify for the Champions Trophy but managed to beat the World Cup finalists in the same. This will go a long way into eliminating the “minnows” aura that surrounds the team. 

They also have a very realistic chance of making it further in the tournament and can definitely churn out a lot of positives from their campaign in this tournament. 

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