DHAKA, Five players made their World Cup debut for Bangladesh at The Oval on Sunday and that too with a landmark with victory against South Africa.
Mehidy Hasan Miraj, one of the World Cup debutants alongside Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Mohammad Mithun, Mohammad Saifuddin and Mustafizur Rahman, said there could be nothing better to have a World Cup debut with a victory against such mighty side.
He attributed down the success to the terrific mixture of youth and experience in the team, which was key in beating South Africa by 21 runs.
The team that beat South Africa at the Oval also featured four players who have played in four World Cups each captain Mashrafe Mortaza, Shakib al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Tamim Iqbal and one player, Mahmudullah, who has played in three World Cups while Soumya Sarkar is playing his second World Cup.
However Mehidy along with, Mustafizur Rahman, Saifuddin, Mosaddek Hossain and Mithun, made the most of the opportunity to play among some of their country's big names on the biggest stages.
Not only did Mehidy make his tournament debut against South Africa at the Oval but he also opened the bowling and was Bangladesh's most economical performer. In his 10 overs, Mehidy conceded only 44 runs and claimed the biggest opposition scalp, that of captain Faf du Plessis.
Mustafizur and Saifuddin came up with deadly death over bowling to prevent South African powerpacked lower middle order from the late carnage, claiming three and two wickets respectively. Mithun made runaball21 and Mosaddek provided late impetus alongside Mahmudullah Riyad with 20 ball26 runs.
We have four senior guys who have a lot of experience; guys who have played in many World Cups and we have a lot of belief coming from that. And then our junior guys have also performed strongly, Mehidy Hasan, who at 21 years old is one of Bangladesh's younger players, was quoted by ICC.
There is good communication between our senior and junior guys. It's a good sign for our country.
I am really excited today because I have always watched the matches on television, like in the last World Cup and now, in this World Cup, I am part of it.
Though there was not much turn on offer, Mehidy said he concentrated on containing and building up pressure and the plan paid off.
The wicket was a little bit slow. I was thinking about bowling dot balls and good areas. I tried to keep a tight length and got success, he added.
Mehidy's standout performance with the ball came after a sterling effort with the bat which saw Bangladesh post their highestever ODI total.
It's a team victory, not just one person, said Mehidy. Our boys did very well because we played together. Most of the time if we win, it's not because only one or two players performed well but because we played together. When eleven players are contributing together, that is better for the team.
Although Bangladesh is not talking up their win over South Africa as a surprise, it comes as such because of their positions on the rankings. Bangladesh sits at No.7 while South Africa are No.3 but Mehidy believes that on the day, anyone can win.
Every team is a strong team in international cricket. Over the last years, we have done well in international cricket and beaten India, South Africa and West Indies. This is a good start for us, now we just have to keep going and think about the next match.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)