Rahim hails start of new era for Bangladesh
BANGLADESH captain Mushfiqur Rahim said his team’s historic Test win against England on Sunday was the beginning of a new era with the country now blessed with talent like teen sensation Mehedi Hasan.
Bangladeshi bowlers, led by 19-year-old Mehedi, took all 10 England wickets in a single session in the second Test as Rahim’s team beat Alastair Cook’s men by 108 runs and square the series.
The victory saw celebrations erupt at Dhaka’s Sher-e-Bangla Stadium and across the country as Bangladeshis revelled in one of the proudest moments in their 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 and who celebrated his 19th birth just this week, triggered a dramatic collapse as England crumbled to 164 all out to suffer their first-ever defeat by Bangladesh in 10 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,” Rahim (pix) said.
“This is a start,” he told reporters after the match.
He 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.
“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.
“We knew the type of player he was,” Rahim said about Mehedi.
“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,” he said.
“There’s a lot to learn from him, and I know he has the calibre to do well in the future,” the 29-year-old added.
Mehedi, who twice led Bangladesh’s under-19 cricket team prior to the call in the senior side, took the final wicket of Steven Finn to finish with 6-77 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 12-200 against Zimbabwe in 2005. – AFP