All of this contributed to the general feeling of regret over Bangladesh’s World Cup campaign.
“If we had done that [played like this] In the previous matches it would have been better,” Shakib said after the match against Sri Lanka. “If we had won one or two more matches, we would be in a good position. We had high expectations. I thought we were disappointed. I thought that the goal we set for ourselves within the team, what we thought we were capable of doing, we couldn’t achieve. “That’s the disappointment we all have.”
Shakib and Shanto’s stand, Bangladesh’s highest for any wicket against Sri Lanka, after they scored 41 for 2 in the seventh over, won the match for Bangladesh.
“It was a very important partnership,” Shakib said. “We talk about this constantly in the locker room: we always need these partnerships to win games, especially in the top order. Otherwise, we are always repairing the damage in the lower order. Today’s partnership won the game for us.”
Bangladesh have lost early wickets in most of their World Cup matches. For a change, Shanto and Shakib started off gently before shifting gears. Shakib said they knew the dew in Delhi would also help, so they had to stay long enough.
“When we lost two wickets, we had to rebuild. We know the wicket is good. We had to bat deep, make a partnership and that will relieve a lot of pressure,” he said. “That’s exactly what we did and when we had an opportunity, we took advantage, we counterattacked, we put a lot of pressure on them because it was not an easy pitch to hit. But the dew was helping us a lot.
“We knew the ball was going towards the bat, we had to bat deep. When we were in the 17th and 18th overs, we simply said that if we batted until the 30th over, we could bring the game closer to the finish line. If one of us stays, we can finish it early.”
Shakib said Bangladesh’s plan was to win early enough to increase their net run rate, not for the World Cup, but for the Champions Trophy. Shakib, in fact, was the first to point out that qualification for the Champions Trophy was linked to qualification for the World Cup, so they worked to achieve it.
“When we lost a couple of quick wickets, Shanto and I were still looking to chase it in 41.2 overs or something that would put us ahead of, I think, a couple of teams,” Shakib said. “That’s what we were looking to do. Trying to do that cost us some wickets. But in the end, we’re very happy with the way we played.”