Litton: It was a wonderful experience to watch Mushfiqur’s Hundred
In particular during the middle and late overs of ODI cricket, Mushfiqur Rahim‘s 60-ball century against Ireland was a brilliant example of the aggressive intent Bangladesh has been attempting to establish.
After the game, which was called off due to rain, Litton Das, who had himself scored 70 off 71, remarked that they had been working on finding the appropriate balance for some time and noted that he had noticed progress since the T20Is against England earlier this month.
The fastest ODI century by a Bangladeshi batter was accomplished by Mushfiqur. Moreover, it was the first run scored by a Bangladeshi hitter after 33 overs. For the second straight game, according to Litton Das, Mushfiqur had a significant impact on their batting performance.
In the first ODI, he scored a 26-ball 44, which helped the home team reach 338 for 8 in 50 overs. He reached his century in this game off 60 balls, helping Bangladesh reach 349 for 6 in 50 overs.
“Watching his innings was a great feeling,” Litton said. “I have never seen a Bangladeshi batter score a hundred towards the end. When someone plays such a knock in the team, it looks good.”
“When a senior plays such a knock, it is even better. His first ODI knock was amazing too. He made 40-plus but it created a big margin to get a 300-plus total. His innings today really made it a different ball-game.”
According to Litton, Bangladesh’s 108 runs in the final ten overs—their third-highest total during this part of an ODI innings—showcased their progress as a team.
“I think these runs are important in ODIs. Big teams often get hundred or close to hundred runs in the last ten overs. It was a challenge for us. We have been talking about how we can get 100 runs in the last ten overs of a T20I too, so it is a good sign that we have started to do it.
“Everyone is batting with intent in the middle overs [10-40]. It is a good idea. They are not just targeting big sixes but the focus is on ones, twos and fours,” he said.
According to Litton, Bangladesh’s cautious beginning while the ball was bouncing around contributed to their high score.
“It was quite difficult to bat in the early overs. After a long time, we felt like we were batting in overseas conditions. The ball was moving. It was quite challenging. It is summer, but it feels like winter. It was due to the rain.”
“We were totally successful in fulfilling our batting targets in the last two matches. We didn’t give any wickets in the first ten overs today; they were bowling very well. We did lose a wicket at the end of the tenth over, but it could have been a different ball game had we lost too many wickets early.”
“I think our 40-42 in the first powerplay isn’t a lot of runs but it was quite effective in the end. Najmul Hossain Shanto and I also helped put the foundation for the big score, we got to around 140 in the 25th over. Wickets in hand always makes scoring runs more comfortable in the latter overs,” he said.
Although the batsmen recognise that these days, they should be aiming for more, Litton claimed that none of his teammates have any regrets when they are dismissed close to a century.
“The top four batters want to finish the innings, which these days can even mean a double-hundred. Century shouldn’t be a target. If Shanto and I had batted till the 45th over, we could have got 150-180. We were batting quite well. I had a soft dismissal, Shanto was unlucky. But Mushfiq bhai played a spectacular knock, way better than our efforts,” he said.