Tamim Iqbal heaped praise on skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza’s captaincy during the first ODI against the West Indies at Guyana. Mashrafe coming back into the side for the ODIs was a huge morale boost for the Tigers after the disastrous Test series defeat and the inspirational leader changed their fortunes not only with his performance but also with captaincy skills.

Tamim, player of the match yesterday, said that it was a total team effort which got Bangladesh victory. Inspirational performances from under-fire seniors were at the root of Bangladesh being able to break their duck in West Indies soil on this tour.

Tamim did not leave out those who contributed to the cause. He and Shakib Al Hasan laid the foundation with a 207-run partnership. Mushfiqur Rahim put the long handle to good use in a 11-ball 30 in the last few overs while Mashrafe’s four-fer ensured Tigers restricted the Windies to 231 for nine.

The skipper bowled economically at the start, getting the scalp of opener Evin Lewis and also putting pressure on Chris Gayle before he came back to pick up three more wickets in his last three overs once the asking run-rate creeped up. “It was totally a team effort. Mushfiq’s innings was special. Shakib’s scoring those runs. I worked hard for my runs.”

“Then in the bowling [department] Mashrafe was brilliant,” Tamim said after the match. Mashrafe, who almost did not travel to the West Indies because of his ill wife, led his troops accordingly to inspire a brilliant win. Tamim was full of praise for his captain.

The bowling changes worked wonders. Rubel Hossain got a breakthrough, Mosaddek Hossain was brilliant in his seven overs, conceding just 22 and contributing to Gayle losing patience. Mustafizur Rahman’s double strike off back-to-back deliveries also came at a crucial junction. “With his experience, he did what was required in this wicket and his captaincy was spot on today.

[He made] Right bowling changes and knew what was required. He did everything possible,” Tamim commented on Mashrafe inspiring his side to a win. Familiar conditions, a format that favours them and a captain that inspires, kept the Tigers alive and up 1-0 in the ODI series.

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