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Asia Cup: Mashrafe heaps praise on Mustafizur, Mahmudullah

Mustafizur returned figures of 2 for 13 in four overs while Mahmudullah revived the team with 36 runs off 27 balls as Bangladesh went on to crush the UAE by 51 runs in an Asia Cup match on Friday.

IANS |February 27, 2016, 2:27 PM IST
Asia Cup: Mashrafe heaps praise on Mustafizur, Mahmudullah

Mirpur: Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe bin Mortaza says young pacer Mustafizur Rahman has proved how mentally strong he is in the match against the United Arab Emirates after a poor performance against India.

He urged fans not to burden Rahman with the burden of expectations in all matches, reports bdnews24.com.

Mustafizur had gone wicketless for 40 runs in four overs in the Asia Cup opener against India. The Indian batsmen did not have much of a problem reading his cutters and slower deliveries. But Mashrafe defended his pace ace, saying his deliveries did not grip due to dew and rain.

But the left-arm seamer was back to his elements on Friday. In his first over, the 20-year old caught a superb return catch. But the third umpire declared it a not out after replays showed the ball had grazed the ground during Mustafizur's follow through after he dived.

But his slower balls and cutters were too good in the next over that fetched him two wickets on consecutive deliveries. He returned 2 for 13 in four overs as Bangladesh went on to crush the UAE by 51 runs.

"I see no cause for worries. What happened in the last match is reality. Mustafizur won't do well in every match he plays. Such high expectations are abnormal, there will be highs and lows," Mashrafe said.

"The match gave us a glimpse of his mental strength. Cutters or not, his attitude is always positive. He always wants to give his best for the team. That's what matters."

Bangladesh next play Sri Lanka in Mirpur on Sunday.

Mashrafe also sang Mahmudullah's praises after the all-rounder's match-winning show against the UAE.

Mashrafe insisted the role of the off-spinner all-rounder in the team was pretty clear. Bangladesh were sent in to bat by the UAE but the hosts slipped to 83 for 4 before Mahmudullah walked in at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Friday, reports bdnews24.com.

He kept the sinking ship afloat with a gritty 36 not out, off 27 deliveries, and pushed Bangladesh's total to a modest 133 for 8 with some late fireworks.

Later he picked up two wickets for just five runs in two overs that helped Bangladesh seal a convincing 51-run win. He also took a spectacular catch at point.

"(Mahmudullah) Riyad knows what his role is. He has to bat under pressure most of the time. He has to play with a lot of responsibility especially when the top order does not get runs. He faces a lot of criticism if he can't give his best," Mashrafe said.

Mahmudullah coped with the pressure successfully against qualifiers UAE.

"Riyad played a very good innings. It was very important for the team. He is bowling well too nowadays. It will be very good for us if he can keep it up," said the skipper.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4659 119
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 England 4366 104
4 South Africa 3177 102
5 Australia 3270 99
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8366 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 5568 265
4 South Africa 4720 262
5 India 9349 260
see more