Bangladesh, thrown in Sharjah, was 56-2 when Rahim joined Mohammad Naim to revive the innings after two hits rapid.
The pair made 73 of 51 to lead Bangladesh to a competitive score of 171 before Charith Asalanka and Bhanuka Rajapaksa planned a stellar chase. While Naim was the stone in 62 of 52, Rahim was the executor who made sure Bangladesh had a good ending.
Mushfiqur Rahim has ensured that he is one of the biggest names on the team’s roster over the years. However, the pressure on the seasoned professional has increased.
He played his last half-century against India in Delhi in 2019 and has since only surpassed the 20-run mark three times in nine innings. In between were five single-digit results and his losing streak against Papua New Guinea and Oman only made the team’s problems worse.
Rahim stressed that though he couldn’t get runs in the last two matches, the criticism only motivated him to come back stronger. “It’s right that I wasn’t among runs in the last two matches but hearing and reading things about me made me feel I haven’t scored runs in the last 5-6 years,” he said. “That motivated me and I wanted to contribute to the team, be it 10, 80, or 100.
“The T20 format is such that it is difficult to score runs on a consistent basis when you are playing at No. 4 and 5. At times you walk in in the 17th over so it’s very difficult,” Mushfiqur said. “I am not like Pollard or Russell who can go and hit right away. I need some time and I have my own strengths and weaknesses so I am trying to improve.”
Mushfiqur Rahim was under tremendous pressure after losing to Scotland as Bangladesh found itself in a situation where they would have to win their next two games to advance to the Super 12 stage.
The former captain was convinced that his experience will help him to get through difficult times.
“There will be a lot of things off the field. As a cricketer, if you do well everyone will clap and if you play bad everyone will abuse you,” he said about the criticism directed at them. “This is not my first World Cup and I have been watching these things for the last 16 years. And those who blamed us, should look in the mirror as they don’t play for Bangladesh. We are representing our country and will try our best. Some days it clicks and some days it doesn’t.”
“Actually, there is no point in blaming (anyone). Today the mistake we made was Liton dropping two catches. But he is a great fielder. It was really important at that time as well,” Rahim pointed out. “We have to make sure that one of our batsmen has to do something big. We cannot rely on only one batsman.”
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