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WT20: Mashrafe Mortaza attributes 'fearless cricket' for Bangladesh success

AFP |March 14, 2016, 9:26 AM IST
WT20: Mashrafe Mortaza attributes 'fearless cricket' for Bangladesh success

Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza attributed the team's success to "fearless cricket" after they humbled Oman in the final qualifier to storm into the World T20 Super 10s in Dharamsala on Sunday.

Opener Tamim Iqbal struck his maiden T20 century to help Bangladesh post 180 for two after being put into bat in the knockout game.

Tamim, who has been in blazing form with scores of 83 and 47 in the first two games, became Bangladesh's only centurion in T20s and Mortaza hoped the left-handed batsman's form rubs off on the other players as well.

"Thanks to Tamim, in the last three matches he has been scoring. Hopefully others will join him and his form will continue," said an elated Mortaza.

Bangladesh, who came into the event after a runners-up finish in the Asia Cup, will now meet hosts India, Pakistan, New Zealand and Australia in Group 2 of the Super 10s.

"We are looking forward to the next big four matches. Can't make any mistakes in the main draw. We played fearless cricket, that was a big decision but our coach has been giving us confidence," said Mortaza.

"If you want to perform, you have to play fearless cricket."

But Sunday's show belonged to Tamim, who made sure Bangladesh didn't lose early wickets with the Oman bowlers making the ball move on a moisture-laden track post evening showers.

Making a composed start along with Soumya Sarkar, Tamim switched gears after registering his second fifty of the tournament and there was no looking back.

Tamim, who clobbered 10 fours and five sixes, soon found company in Sabbir Rahman as the duo hit the ball to all parts of the picturesque ground during their 92-run partnership.

"The next stage is very important for us. The Pakistan game is very important. I hope I can continue my form. I finally got a hundred, that was due," said man of the match Tamim.

Getting plenty of confidence from their batting show, Bangladesh's bowlers restricted Oman to 65 for nine after the minnows' chase was revised to 120 in 12 overs.

Oman, a side which mostly consists of Indian and Pakistani expats, never really got going and the two rain interventions during their stop-start chase didn't help the cause either.

"Today's game we tried our best. Tamim's innings was the difference. We have had a good summer, that's why we have come to this level," said captain Sultan Ahmed.

Earlier in the first match of the day, medium-pacer Paul van Meekeren bagged four wickets to help Netherlands notch up a consolation 12-run win via D/L method against Ireland.

Invited to bat in the inconsequential group tie, the Dutch made sure their opening show of 59 for five remains untouched after restricting Ireland to 47 for seven.

Monday remains a rest day before India face New Zealand in the main draw opener at Nagpur on Tuesday.

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