Mushfiqur Rahim played a gem of an innings today against Sri Lanka. His brilliant 57 not out off 37 helped Bangladesh set a challenging target of 171 which Sri Lanka later chased down comprehensively. It was Mushfiqur's first fifty in this format since 2019.
"Batters who bat in the middle order don't score big runs regularly. Someone had to take the responsibility and bat deep," said Mushfiqur in the post-match press conference.
Mahmudullah, in the pre-match press conference a couple of days ago, stated that all the outside noise, criticism in the media affected the players. Mushfiqur, when asked about those off-the-field issues, said, "There will be a lot of chatter outside. You will be lauded when you do well. You will be criticised when you fail. It's not my first year. I have been watching, hearing these things for the last 16 years. Those who are saying these kinds of things about us, go check yourselves in the mirror. They don't play for the country, we do. We all want to do well. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don't."
Mushfiqur doesn't want to blame anyone for the loss today against Sri Lanka.
"There's no one to blame. However many runs you score, there will be mistakes. There will be some positives as well. Today what went wrong for us was those two missed opportunities. Well, Liton is a very good fielder. If I had missed those two catches, people wouldn't have been this disappointed. But Liton is a terrific fielder and expected to take those catches. That phase when Liton missed those catches was very important and we could've won had he taken those catches," he said.
Shakib Al Hasan brought Bangladesh back into the match with two quick wickets after the initial onslaught. But Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah held him back despite Sri Lanka batters going great guns. Mushfiqur explained the reason behind this decision. "It was part of the plan. The wicket was good. The left-handers were well-set. We thought we would bring Shakib on during the slog overs. He is a champion bowler and is used to bowling during that phase. But I think it wasn't the reason behind we lost," said Mushfiqur.