Bangladesh needed to win a series against England to complete a full circle. Bangladesh has won a series in one format or another against every Test playing nation except England since their international debut in 1986. Bangladesh defeated the reigning T20 world champions by four wickets in the second match of the three-match series on Sunday (March 12) at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium to go 2-0 up.
While Bangladesh finally won the series against England, Player of the Match Mehidy Hasan stated that the most important thing was that Bangladesh win the series regardless of the opposition. “Look, every international series is important, and it makes us happy to win against any team. You can’t say you feel good about beating this or that team. You can’t say you feel good after beating Australia or New Zealand because we feel the same way after beating every team. Because, at the end of the day, which team triumphed? Bangladesh,” Mehidy said after his all-round performance helped Bangladesh secure a nail-biting victory in the second match.
“We all won, and everyone is overjoyed. We certainly enjoy beating the big teams, and we have won against every team except England, which we were unable to reach and win a series against. Today, we are pleased with our T20I series victory over England because we can now say that we have beaten every team and won series,” he said.
Bangladesh was able to bowl England out for 117 thanks to Mehidy’s 4-12 in four overs. However, captain Shakib Al Hasan made certain that the players did not relax in the locker room. “Shakib bhai told us in the locker room that we didn’t have to be overjoyed at the break. Sometimes a team gets excited after limiting a team to 117 runs, but he made sure we weren’t doing it because he said there was nothing to be happy about and that we would only enjoy ourselves in the locker room if we won the game.
Mehedy went on to say that he is grateful for the team management’s faith in him after being reintroduced into the T20 setup after a nearly five-month absence. He bowled three overs and gave up 32 runs without picking up a wicket in his last T20I against South Africa in Sydney. Since that game, he has been ruled out of the remaining three T20 World Cup matches against Zimbabwe, India, and Pakistan, as well as the series opener against England. But Mehidy made a memorable comeback, finishing with career-high figures.
“I am delighted to repay the trust placed in me by the team management,” he said, before adding that Bangladesh will now stick to the strategy that has served them well as they aim for a 3-0 victory. “We are the better side, we have a very good team and some very good players, and we are not thinking about how to win the match; we are thinking about how to stay positive and play better cricket because we are confident that if we do that, the result will fall into place.”
Meanwhile, England captain Jos Butler stated that his team was 10 to 15 runs short in the game. England, who were put in to bat, struggled to deal with Bangladesh’s bowlers, losing wickets at regular intervals. “Yes, it wasn’t quite enough” (the total). To take it that deep and put pressure on Bangladesh to chase those runs, I thought it was an outstanding bowling performance from us. And, yes, it was a different kind of T20 match, a low-scoring one. The extra ten or fifteen runs would have been crucial in that game.”
Buttler stated that the pitch did not surprise him because he expected it to be difficult. “I believe we expected the pitch to play the way it did. We’ve played two One-Day Internationals here. It played very much like those games. I believe we’ve identified the problem here. You must adapt and perform well.”