Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan revealed that his side were ‘chilling’ at the end of the West Indies innings as they were confident of chasing down the 322-run target set during their clash against Jason Holder’s side at Taunton on Monday.
The Tigers chased down the target in just 41.3 overs, with Shakib hitting his second century of the tournament and World Cup debutant Liton Das scoring a fluent half-century to take the side home.
“At the end of the first innings in the dressing room, no one felt that this was tough,” Shakib said at the post-match press conference. “Everyone was comfortable and was chilling. It gave a lot of confidence in the dressing room and belief that we could chase the runs.
“The way the openers started their innings, everyone in the dressing room felt good and comfortable and relaxed. That helped us a lot. So, at no point of time we had to panic.”
The in-form batsman was the architect of the run-chase, scoring an unbeaten 124 off 99 balls - the fastest of his nine ODI centuries. This was also the 32-year-old’s fourth consecutive innings of a 50-plus score in the tournament and is now placed on top of the leading run-scorer list of the tournament with a total of 384 as of Monday.
Speaking about his innings, Shakib said: “It's obviously one of the best, because the way we chased that run and the way I paced the innings. I was never in a rush. I didn't have to play too many shots from a good ball. I had to be patient enough.
“I needed to make sure that when I played I had to put the bad ball away. And every time I did that quite well. And it's one of the key things in my batting in this chase.
Shakib also went on to praise his partner Liton Das, who hit an unbeaten 94 off 69 balls in his first World Cup innings. The pair added 189 runs stand which was the second highest fourth-wicket stand in World Cup history.
“I told Liton that if you stay at the wicket then we can finish this game with three wickets down and after 10 or 15 balls, it was a treat to watch.”
“I enjoyed his batting from the non-striker’s and he never put me under any pressure but the way he handled the pressure was brilliant.”
Having overcome West Indies with seven wickets and 8.3 overs to spare, Bangladesh will now be up against defending champions Australia at Trent Bridge on Thursday (June 20) to continue their quest of making the semi-finals.
When posed a question about facing the pace of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins in the next game, Shakib insisted his side were not daunted by the challenge.
“We’ve faced some of the best fast bowlers in the last four matches – every team has at least two bowlers who bowl 140 kph and we’ve coped well so we’re not worried about that. We are a skilled team and we are capable of counter those challenges.”