Southampton: Shakib Al Hasan’s patience and determination helped him produce one of the finest knocks of his career on Monday against the West Indies. The left-handed batsman scored an unbeaten 124 off just 99 balls to ensure Bangladesh a seven-wicket win.
Speaking later, Shakib remarked that he was able to play such a knock since the West Indies bowlers lacked patience.
“I think they bowled well on most occasions. Although they bowled at the good areas, they were not patient enough to bowl in those areas for a longer period of time,” said Hasan, whose decision to pick the right ball to hit was exceptional.
When asked how determined he was, the No 2 ranked allrounder in one-dayers said: “I wanted to do well and contribute to the team. It’s been going well for now, but that doesn’t mean I can take anything for granted. There are four more matches to be played and hopefully we qualify. I just need to make sure that I stay fresh, relaxed and enjoy what’s going on and keep focused on my game plan.”
Shakib attributed his success to the determination of his teammates too, as all of them were looking for a win over West Indies.
“At the end of the first innings, none of us in the dressing room felt that this [target of 322 runs] was tough. Everyone was comfortable and chilling. That gave a lot of confidence in the dressing room and belief that we could chase that target. Once we started batting, I think the manner in which our openers started their innings got everyone in the dressing room feeling good, comfortable and relaxed. At no point did we panic and that was the best part of this chase.”
The dashing left-hander is happy with his batting, though not willing to consider this as his best knock. When asked as to how he managed to make room for the West Indies bowlers and slash them, Shakib explained his approach to his batting.
“At this moment I’m seeing the ball really well. That is the key, I think. And that’s why I’m getting more time to play my strokes. But we are only midway through the tournament... So I need to be patient and I start every innings the way I’ve been doing now.”
Without being unduly modest, Shakib says he is proud at the way he played this knock. “It’s obviously one of the best because the way we chased without any rush worked well for us. Moreover, I didn’t have to play too many shots off a good ball. Instead, I was patient enough to put the bad ball away.”
Bangladesh next plays Australia, who have some of the best pacers, but Shakib pointed out that none of his teammates are scared of pace. “We’ve been facing some of the best fast bowlers in the last four matches. Every team has, I think, at least two bowlers who bowl 140-plus and we’ve been coping up well. So we are not worried about that because we’ve also played England and now we played West Indies. It is important we get our basics right. I know we’re a skilled team and we are capable enough to counter those challenges.”