“We are really happy today,” Nigar said. “We have won here after a long time. We have always had close matches against India. We felt that if we played a little better, this series would have been ours. We also have a lot of cricket [three ODIs] left. That’s why we didn’t celebrate in that way. I keep telling everyone that only when you allow your brain to tell yourself that we can beat India, we can definitely beat them. I think I am successful in that way but there’s a lot left to do as a team. I think we could beat a team like India due to our change of mentality.”
“A run chase becomes easier when one of the top-order batters stays till the 14th or 15th over,” Nigar said. “Shamima apu did it well. I was telling her to stay till the end. I am handling my end. ‘You play your shots. If we can take 5-6 singles per over, then that 8 or 10-run over is around the corner.’ I didn’t think the equation was too complicated. Taking singles made the chase easy for us.
“The ball wasn’t coming on to the bat in this wicket. An aggressive shot could have been costly. I told her to carry on playing shots. If she carried the innings deep, it will make the equation easy for us.
“She also plays the sweep well although she got out playing the sweep in the last two matches. But I told her that you should play the shot that you’re good at. I told her not to stop it, but make sure she plays the sweep properly. Sweep is the best shot on slow and low wickets.”
The win was a little bit more special for the women’s team who were playing at the Shere Bangla National Stadium after eleven years. They won an ODI and a T20I at this ground in 2012, but have had to wait a long time for the BCB to give them games at the country’s No. 1 cricket stadium.
“Mirpur is a special ground,” Nigar said. “We have won after playing here after a long time. It is a huge achievement for the team. I hope we get to play more matches here in the future. Whenever the men’s team play here, people watch those matches on TV or they pack the galleries here.
“I have been playing for Bangladesh for a long time but never played in this ground. I think all our families had this regret about not playing in Mirpur.”
Nigar has urged for more support at the ground though, as all three matches in Mirpur lacked a big crowd. “I would appeal to the public to come to our matches. It always gives us positive energy. When I am batting in the middle, cries of “Bangladesh, Bangladesh!” always gives me motivation. I am playing [for] the country, let me fight a bit more. The energy is a bit different. I thank those who came today. It is their support that has taken us this far.”
Meanwhile, India assistant coach Apoorva Desai said that there’s no regret at the scoreline being 2-1. They hope to make it 3-0 in the ODIs starting on July 16.
“I think we are also trying a lot of players,” Desai said. “Almost four people have debuted. We’re also doing some changes. And yeah, we would have loved to win today. We were 20 runs short on that wicket. Last three-four overs, if they would have batted sensibly, it was [possible to push to] 120-125 [which] was [the] par score. So, I think, yeah, we’ll come hard in the one dayers. Take the learnings there and, and push for a 3-0 series.”