Brendon McCullum heaps praise on Mustafizur Rahman

Brendon McCullum heaps praise on Mustafizur Rahman

The efforts of the Tigers were praised by former Kiwi skipper

Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum of New Zealand. (Photo by MICHAEL BRADLEY/AFP/Getty Images)

Bangladesh pulled off a miracle performance to upset New Zealand and send the Islanders home, thus keeping the hopes alive for a semi-final berth. Riding on a record partnership of 224 between Shakib and Mahmudullah, the Tigers have done the unthinkable.  With New Zealand out of the equation, Bangladesh will now back England to beat Australia to guarantee their position in the semi-final.

Close to 160 million Bangladeshis will cheer passionately for England to save their hopes. England have already booked their berth in the semi-final. Though it’s only a game of formality against Australia, England will still love to dominate the Aussies, their Ashes rival. Australia are one of the toughest opponents of the game and a win against them will give a moral boost to any team.

England wants to dominate

England captain Eoin Morgan is quite aware of the fact. He will want to continue with the winning momentum and not let Australia get a sniff. England have to prove themselves to the world that they have come of age to win a major ICC title.

“We will have a very serious attitude. I think if we’re truly going to be contenders for the tournament we need to beat the best teams . And Australia are one of the best teams. They always are going into a white ball tournament. They seem to produce limited-overs cricketers at will. So to go into a game like that with no other attitude than winning is very important to us,” the England captain said.

England beating Australia will be hysteria for the legions of Bangladeshi fans. And for the team, it will be a swathe of confidence and moral boost. Once 33/4, Bangladesh sneaked into the game yesterday, courtesy centuries from Mahmudullah(102*) and Shakib Al Hasan(114). The two brought New Zealand to the knees with their calculated innings and brought the much-needed victory they have been hunting for.

This was Bangladesh’s second win out of eleven games in Champions trophy. Their first win was against Zimbabwe in the 2006 edition of the tournament. Mahmudullah hit his second ICC event’s century in the process. Their surprise performance against New Zealand was too much for the Black Caps as they lost the plot and succumbed.

The efforts of Bangladeshi paceman Mustafizur Rahman earned praise from former New Zealand batsman Brendon McCullum. Reacting to the defeat of his team, McCullum said that Fizz was instrumental in stemming the flow of runs and New Zealand batsman suffocated in their quest for scoring runs. This created panic among them and they played some rash shots, only to bring their downfall. New Zealand batsman failed to decode his variety of cutters.

McCullum heaps praise on Mustafizur

“(Late NZ wickets) came on the back of good work Mustafizur was able to generate. The pressure he built up meant New Zealand had to try and accelerate at some stage. They have tried to take a Mosaddek(Hossain) and all Neil Broom’s done is get a leading edge for another comfortable catch for Tamim(Iqbal). To me that’s the good work from Mustafizur that’s put the pressure on New Zealand,” McCullum told cricket.com.au.

McCullum rued that New Zealand failed to apply correct strategies towards the end of the innings. He wanted a left-hand right-hand combination at the crease to put Bangladeshi bowlers on the backfoot. With Broom, a left-handed batsman was needed as he could have capitalised on the small boundary to the left. It would have paced the innings fairly well and they could have piled a daunting target for the opponents. Also, Mustafizur’s economical spell in the middle six overs for 26 runs, swerved the match in the Tigers favour. He completely deflated the flow of runs.