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Rediff.com  » Cricket » We'll fight to qualify for quarterfinal: Shakib

We'll fight to qualify for quarterfinal: Shakib

Last updated on: March 12, 2011 18:23 IST

'I can't describe how well they batted'

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Bangladesh's World Cup campaign got a fresh lease of life after they beat England on Friday but captain Shakib Al Hasan said now that the unlikely triumph has been achieved, his team would fight to the end to make the quarterfinal stage of the mega-event.

Images: Bangladesh rally to shock England

Bangladesh battled back from 169 for eight to chase a target of 226 amid tremendous pressure against England on Friday.

Shakib lavished praised on the lower-order batsmen -- Mahmudullah and Shafiul Islam -- who guided the team to the win with their unbeaten 58-run partnership for the ninth wicket.

"I thought Mahmudullah and Shafiul batted exceptionally well. At one stage we thought we'd lost the game but they showed their character, how tough they are and how hard-working," said Shakib.

"I thought we'd lost the game but they just played outstandingly. I can't describe how well they batted," he said.

"It means a hell of a lot to the whole country. We all know we're very emotional about cricket. It was a great win for us and hopefully we'll kick on from here. No matter what happens we'll fight to the end," he promised.


Image: Mahmudullah of Bangladesh celebrates after hitting the winning runs
Photographs: Getty Images
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'This win is huge for the whole nation'

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Shakib said the thrilling win has taught them the important lesson of not throwing away good starts.

Bangladesh were placed comfortable at 155 for three but both Imrul Kayes (60) and Shakib (32) let England come back in the match by getting out to poor shot selection and bad running between the wickets.

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Kayes ran himself out while stealing a double and Shakib edged one off Graeme Swann onto his stumps.

"The lesson was that when me and Imrul were batting, we shouldn't have gotten out at that stage. We were batting pretty well and we got out to a silly run out," Shakib said after the two-wicket win.

"My shot was quite a poor one. But we learned that whoever got a start, we should stick to the crease and get a big score," Shakib added.

"We should have been a bit more careful with our shot selections. It is not a normal win. It has changed the whole scenario and it is a huge victory for us. It is huge for the whole nation," the host captain added.

Shakib said he had the confidence of chasing down the target as conditions were favourable for batting.

"I thought 225 was a good total to chase. I knew that if we batted well and given that there would be dew around, it would be harder to bowl to us," he said.


Image: Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh
Photographs: Getty Images
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'Losing early wickets didn't help us'

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England captain Andrew Strauss was distraught with the result as it was their second defeat against a weak opponent. They had earlier lost to Ireland.

"Eoin Morgan played exceptionally well, and obviously Jonathan Trott stuck in there. We felt it was a par score, that we could defend it, and we got ourselves in a great position to do that. But in the end we weren't able to take those last two wickets, which is desperately disappointing for us," he said.

"We thought we were in a great position to win it. Ajmal was reversing it a little bit, and bowled a really good spell there. You expect to win games from that circumstance. But that is one-day cricket.

"Fair play to the guys at the end there -- they played very well and got Bangladesh over the line in an important game of cricket," Strauss added.

Strauss also said the English could have scored more but early inroads by Bangladeshi bowlers made the difference.

"I think losing three wickets early with the bat certainly didn't help us. It was a pretty slow, low, stodgy wicket -- and we needed wickets in hand to get up to 240 or 250, which would have been a very good score," he said.


Image: Andrew Strauss
Photographs: Getty Images
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