Bangladesh made one change to their playing XI against West Indies, by dropping Mohammad Mithun and picking Liton Das. Skipper Mashrafe Mortaza hoped that the top-order batsman can ‘hopefully play some shots’, and that is exactly what the 24-year-old produced at Taunton on Monday.
His unbeaten 94 played the perfect supporting role to Shakib Al Hasan’s 124 as the duo saw Bangladesh through to a comprehensive seven-wicket victory over Jason Holder's side.
“I was a bit nervous as this was my first match in the World Cup,” he said. “The first 15 balls I faced were short and I was a bit nervous facing them.
“But Shakib told me: ‘If you stay in for five or six overs on this wicket, then it’ll be easy. The wicket is good, so believe in yourself’.
“It was a pleasure to bat with Shakib and finish the game with him. It was a good innings, my pleasure.”
Chasing a mammoth 322, the pair added 189 runs for the fourth-wicket – the highest partnership in this year’s World Cup to give the Tigers two vital points.
The victory now moves Bangladesh to fifth in the points table - a point behind hosts England in fourth.
The wicketkeeper-batsman impressed in his innings of 73 during the warm-up game against India but failed to make the cut in Bangladesh's playing XI for the group stage encounters, until Monday’s fixture. Das revealed that this innings had a feel-good factor.
“I did well against India, but this was special,” he added.
“Nobody could imagine doing this [in a first World Cup game]. It feels good.”