Mushfiqur: England loss a learning experience


Mushfiqur Rahim reflected on a tantalising Test defeat against England as a learning experience for Bangladesh and praised the character his side showed in Chittagong.

The Tigers needed only 33 runs to secure their most famous victory in the longest format of the game, but Ben Stokes struck twice in three balls to give England a 22-run victory - and a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

Debutant Sabbir Rahman was left unbeaten on 64 as Bangladesh fell agonisingly short in their run chase on the final day of a gripping Test match.

Mushfiqur said Bangladesh had plenty of ground for optimism after pushing England all the way at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.

The Tigers captain said: "Sometimes you have a distinctive feeling after losing a game. We tried what we could. Nobody expected Bangladesh to play in this manner after 15 months [without playing a Test] so we had to prove that we could do something.

"We could show our character to a side like England. They have a lot of experienced players. I wouldn't use the word frustrating but I would call it a learning experience.

"The biggest achievement would be to play consistently for the whole Test match. I think we have done that 90-95 per cent of the time but we could have done better in some areas.

"We can take a lot of positives - Mehedi [Hasan] and Shakib [Al Hasan] bowled well. Tamim [Iqbal] batted well, and it wasn't in his character to bat like he did. Sabbir batted well too. It was a good Test for Bangladesh."

Mushfiqur also defended Sabbir after he put his faith in Taijul Islam rather than keeping the strike and could only watch on as Stokes trapped the spinner and Shafiul Islam leg before.

"Sabbir wouldn't have been able to do all the scoring and it wasn't that Taijul was really bad," Mushfiqur said.

"If it was the last wicket, it would have been different. They had pace from both ends, understandably, so Sabbir couldn't have taken too much risk. Taijul started well today so we took the decision that they should take a single when it is available.

"Thirty runs and two wickets is a difficult equation. The match was tilted towards them almost 90 per cent. We don't have any tailender who has a first-class hundred, and even if they did, there's a huge difference between those scored in county cricket and in our first-class structure.

"If we would have won, we wouldn't become an extraordinary Test side. But we ended up achieving much of what we had set ourselves."