Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan is hoping to carry on his stellar form into the upcoming 2019 ICC World Cup clashes against Pakistan and India following his side’s latest 62-run win over Afghanistan.
Shakib’s magnificent World Cup continued on Monday at Southampton with the left-hander registering another half-century while also becoming the first Bangladesh player to claim a World Cup five-wicket haul.
The 32-year-old has now gone past Australia’s David Warner to become the tournament’s leading run-scorer with 476 runs in total but he was more delighted with his bowling display against the Afghans.
“I think the five wickets gave me greater pleasure,” Shakib told broadcaster Star Sports after Bangladesh’s win.
“I had to work really hard for the fifty. Mushfiqur (Rahim) played an important knock, without him we wouldn’t have got the runs. We knew it was going to be tough with their three spinners, so it needed a team effort.
“I did work really hard before the World Cup, I was well prepared. The best I could ever be prepared. It’s paying off. Definitely want it to carry on. Our next two games against India and Pakistan are big games.”
Shakib’s match-winning display with both bat and ball was lauded by Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza.
“Shakib’s been fantastic. He’s scoring runs and whenever we need, he’s getting us wickets,” the Bangladesh captain said after the game.
The win has lifted Bangladesh to fifth spot in the table with seven points from as many games and it keeps their hopes of making the semi-final alive. Mortaza has vowed that his side will give it their all against Pakistan and India as they seek to make a dream run to the semi-final.
“We will try our level best (against Pakistan and India), that’s all I can say to the fans,” Mortaza concluded.
Bangladesh now have a big gap before they take on India in their next clash at Birmingham on July 2.
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