Bangladesh got their ICC World Cup campaign to the best possible start with a 21-run win over South Africa at the Oval on Sunday. All-rounder Mehidy Hasan believes the secret to Bangladesh success is their combination of experience with youth.
Bangladesh's eleven on Sunday had four members who have played in four World Cups — captain Mashrafe Mortaza, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Tamim Iqbal — and one player, Mahmudullah, who has played in three World Cups.
The World Cup debutants are Mehidy, Mustafizur Rahman and Mosaddek Hossain.
“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 told the media in the ICC mixed zone after the win over South Africa on Sunday.
“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 TV, like in the last World Cup and now, in this World Cup, I am part of it,” he added.
Not only did Mhidy make this tournament 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 wicket of South Africa captain Faf du Plessis.
“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,” the 21-year-old said.
Mehidy’s show with the ball came after Bangladesh posted their highest-ever ODI total. Soumya Sarkar smashed 42 off 30 balls, Shakib and Mushfiqur scored a half-century each and Mahmudullah finished with 46 off 33 balls.
“It’s a team victory, not just one person. 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 we have contributions from all 11 players, that’s good for us,” Mehidy said.
Bangladesh are ranked 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,” he felt.