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Mahmudullah yearns to end dreadful run with win

  • Published at 03:28 pm February 17th, 2018
  • Last updated at 10:14 am February 18th, 2018
Mahmudullah yearns to end dreadful run with win
Bangladesh stand-in T20I captain Mahmudullah hopes the home side will lift their motivation level and end the dreadful run at home by winning the second and final T20I against Sri Lanka at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium Sunday. Coming into the new year, Bangladesh had expected to put the recent bad times firmly behind them. Their poor tour of South Africa had made them eager to turn things around when they started their tri-nation ODI series mission. They duly made a flying start in the tri-series against both Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe only to come crashing down in the last two games, including the final. In the two-match Test series, the Tigers lost 1-0 after severe batting failure in the second Test. And in the first T20I, the Tigers were tamed as Sri Lanka picked up a convincing five-wicket victory over Bangladesh at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium last week, exposing the host’s bowling department. Alongside hitting lows in both the batting and bowling department, the side was hit with injuries to key players like Shakib al Hasan, who missed the Test and T20I series, and Tamim Iqbal, who missed the first T20I. There were also many off-field controversies regarding team selection while questions were also raised as to how the team without a full-time head coach are being operated. The saga is surely to have hampered the mentality and confidence of the Bangladesh cricketers. Mahmudullah, who took charge of the Test and T20I team in place of the injured Shakib, said the side have simply failed to meet the expectation. Going into the second T20I, the Tigers will look to inspire themselves by winning the game and ending the series in a draw.

Also read: Sylhet all ready to host maiden Bangladesh match

"We didn't get expected results in the tri-series and the Test series. Our bowlers didn't execute the plans in the first T20I. But we still have pride to play for in the last game. We are trying to get motivated enough to draw the T20I series," said Mahmudullah to the media at SICS Saturday. Bangladesh’s chance of winning the first T20I went awry due to ineffective bowling attack. With three pacers and one full-time spinner, Bangladesh failed to defend their highest ever T20I total of 193 runs. The side initially included six uncapped cricketers in the squad and gave debuts to four of them - Ariful Haque, Afif Hossain, Zakir Hasan and Nazmul Islam Apu – but only in vain. Spinner Nazmul made the most impact among the debutant quartet taking two wickets while all-rounder Ariful barely got the opportunity to show his talent. However, opener Zakir and youngster Afif, batting at No 4, did little scoring 10 and a duck respectively. Mahmudullah though urged everyone not to judge the debutants too soon and believes with time, they will come good. "It is never easy to perform in the international stage. Of course they have the ability for which they are in the team. It will not be wise for me to make a comment on how the newcomers have performed. I think their main motivation should come from the fact that they are playing for the national team, they are representing the country. They should have the hunger to perform for the team," said Mahmudullah. Bangladesh in the second T20I are likely to see three changes. Opener Tamim, pacer Abu Jayed and spinner Mehedi Hasan are likely to replace Zakir and seamers Rubel Hossain and Saifuddin respectively.
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