World Cup 2019: Ton-up Shakib Al Hasan glad promotion paying dividends

The star all-rounder has passed fifty three times in as many innings after being promoted from No. 5 to No. 3. On Saturday, he scored a century for Bangladesh against England in Cardiff.

Shakib Al Hasan scored 121 from 119 deliveries.   -  AFP

Bangladesh star Shakib Al Hasan was glad to justify his rise in the batting order as he maintained a fine start to the World Cup with a hundred against England.

It was the third time the all-rounder, who also opened the bowling with his left-arm spin in Cardiff on Saturday, had passed fifty in as many innings this tournament after being promoted from No. 5 to No. 3. Unfortunately for the Tigers, not even Shakib’s fine 121 could prevent a 106-run defeat by England, for whom opener Jason Roy made 153 in a total of 386 for six.

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“Yeah, [I needed to convince] everyone,” said Shakib to laughter from reporters when asked whom he had needed to persuade in order to bat at first-wicket down. “Because if I don’t score runs in a single match, they would think he should be batting at No. 5; he’s better down there,” added the 32-year-old, a veteran of 201 One-Day Internationals.

“It is different. You need to face some different challenges. I’m enjoying at this moment, but having said that, it’s just the start, I need to contribute as much as I can with both bat and ball. I thought [the promotion up the order] was a better opportunity for me to contribute more with the bat.”

AS IT HAPPENED

Bangladesh knocked England out of the 2015 World Cup but it was a different story in the Welsh capital. Several Bangladesh batsmen struggled against England fast bowlers Jofra Archer and Mark Wood, who both topped 90 mph (145 kph).

'Difficult challenge'

Shakib, who coped better than most, said: “They are quick. It was a difficult challenge, but I enjoyed it. Obviously they are the two quickest bowlers in this World Cup, so I knew that it’s going to be tough, but I felt very happy with the way I played them.”

Defeat left Bangladesh, which next plays Sri Lanka at Bristol on Tuesday, with one win from three matches in the round-robin group stage.

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Shakib said Bangladesh’s bowling had let it down at Sophia Gardens, the scene of one of its greatest triumphs when it beat Australia in a stunning 2005 ODI upset. “We are disappointed with the result, and the manner we actually bowled,” he admitted.

“I thought we bowled really, really well against South Africa and against New Zealand. But obviously England played brilliantly. Credit goes to their batsmen. The way their openers started, and the way Jos Buttler finished the innings was the turning point of the match. That’s been their pattern for the last two, three years, building up to this World Cup, so they are not going to change.”