Rahim hails start of new era for Bangladesh

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

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

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