“BEST INNINGS OF RAHIM’S LIFE SO FAR”
Mushfiqur Rahim scored his career-best 144 to see Bangladesh register a thumping 137-run win over Sri Lanka. © AFP
Bangladesh’s star batsman Mushfiqur Rahim, who sizzled with a career-best 144 against Sri Lanka on Saturday, rated it as the best innings of his life. The 31-year-old scored his sixth ODI ton to guide Bangladesh to a 137-run win in their Asia Cup opener. Bangladesh, who were tottering at 3 for 2 following twin strikes from Lasith Malinga, were rescued by Rahim through a 131-run stand with Mohammad Mithun.
“I can say at the moment this is the best innings of my life so far,” Rahim told on Sunday (September 16). “Lot of people are saying it too [my best innings] but in future I can come up with a better innings than this one,” he gushed. “But till date this is the batting of my career so far.”
This is not the first time Rahim has come to Bangladesh’s rescue and when asked if he keeps tabs of those knocks, Rahim laughed it off. “To be honest, I don’t have any count of it [performances resulting in victory] and I don’t want to keep any count of it. Basically, I want to win so many matches that I cannot keep any account of it. I will try to contribute more and more in our wins.”
UAE has been relentless with its heat and humidity and only two days into the tournament, the players have already been put through enormous grind during both practice and games. Rahim, though, said that he and his other teammates had amply prepared themselves in tune with the conditions that were expected during the tournament.
“We practiced to be able to perform in this condition. Perhaps we did not have the chance to play in this kind of heat but the hard work that we put in on fitness purpose is often ignored by the media. We don’t see you [media] when we start the running session at 7 or 8 in the morning because you usually arrive at 10 or 11,” Rahim remarked. “This is the reflection of the amount of dedication and hard work that we put in that [fitness] session. Perhaps I did it yesterday [despite heat] but anyone from us can do it. We all have the confidence that we can overcome any situation and this confidence was translated in the last match,” he added.
Ahead of the campaign opener against, Rahim’s participation was dodgy too, given his rib injury that resurfaced after he got hurt while doing a catching before the game. However, together with a brave Tamim Iqbal, who battled a broken wrist to notch up a critical 32-run stand for the final wicket, Rahim stretched his team’s total to 261.
“There is a crack in my ribs and certainly there is pain. But the way Tamim returned to batting was unbelievable because he had sustained fracture and batted with one hand and I knew I had to do something special for him,” Rahim said. “We always have [same] dedication towards our team as we have won matches despite those injuries as in matches that we have lost [despite injuries], we had put the same amount of dedication.
“We always try to give our best because it is our responsibility. Sometimes we fail and we lose on some occasions.”
Rahim’s partnership with Tamim interestingly is the highest tenth-wicket alliance involving an opening batsman. While Bangladesh would be upbeat following their massive win against Sri Lanka, they would also be fretting over the injury scares, to Rahim, Tamim, Shakib Al Hasan and Nazmul Hossain Shanto.
They next play Afghanistan on September 20.