Mushfiqur Rahim said his team’s historic Test win against England Sunday (October 30) was the beginning of a new era with the country now blessed with talent like Mehedi Hasan, the 19-year-old sensation.
Bangladeshi bowlers, led by Mehedi, took all ten England second-innings wickets in a single session on the third evening of the second Test as Rahim’s team beat Alastair Cook’s men by 108 runs to square the series.
The victory triggered celebrations at Dhaka’s Sher-e-Bangla Stadium and across the country as Bangladeshis revelled in one of the proudest moments in their cricketing, and sporting, history.
Chasing a target of 273, England seemed to be cruising when Cook and Ben Duckett guided them to 100 without loss at tea. But Mehedi, playing only his second Test, scripted a dramatic collapse as England crumbled to 164 all out to suffer their first defeat by Bangladesh in ten Tests. Bangladesh secured Test status in 2000 and the win was only their eighth in 95 Tests – and the first against a full-strength side from a major country.
“It is a very big achievement in Bangladesh’s Test cricket history. It came against a very good England side but there will be a time when we will win a series 2-0 against any big team,” said Rahim. “This is just a start.
“From the time we knew England were coming, we planned to make wickets that last three to four days. The sort of wicket that would help our spinners and trouble the English batsmen. We played well in Chittagong but I was surprised that it lasted five days. Here our bowlers executed our plans and the batsmen did well too, which made this win possible.”
Rahim paid tribute to the youngsters in the side, especially Mehedi, who had a record match haul of 12 wickets and a series tally of 19, giving him the Man of the Match and Man of the Series awards.
“It feels great the younger players are also contributing. We have a number of performers in the team, which is always great for a captain,” said Rahim. “We knew the type of player he was. We wanted him to play against England rather than Afghanistan so that they don’t know anything about him. It is all his credit that he did so well. There’s a lot to learn from him, and I know he has the calibre to do well in the future.”
Mehedi, who twice led Bangladesh’s Under-19 cricket team prior to the call to the senior side, took the final wicket of Steven Finn to finish with 6 for 77 in the innings and 12 for 159 in the match. It was his country’s best-ever bowling figure in Tests, overtaking Enamul Haque Jr’s 12 for 200 against Zimbabwe in 2005.
Rahim also praised Tamim Iqbal, who topped the series run-scoring charts with 267 runs, including a century in the first innings of the second Test.
“Tamim was outstanding, especially in the first innings in Chittagong. I think that 78 was greater than his double-century (206 in the second innings against Pakistan in Khulna in April 2015). He utilised his good form, which is a really good sign,” said Rahim.