“We are very happy winning an ODI after a long time,” Nigar said. “It is a huge achievement for the team. It will help us play much better in the future. We have defeated India after a long time. Plus, it happened in Mirpur. It is definitely part of history. We want to create a little more history.”
“We wanted to take early wickets,” Nigar said. “They are dependent on their batting department. The coach told us that we should look for wickets in the Powerplay. It will keep them under pressure. Smriti [Mandhana] and Harmanpreet [Kaur] are their key batters. When we got them out, the rest of their batters couldn’t quite do the job. But I think we could have bowled better to bowl them out for a cheaper score.
“Marufa bowls well with the new ball and later in the middle overs. She doesn’t think about her bowling too much. She wants to bowl to the team’s requirement. She backs her own strength. It helps us. Batters have struggled against her natural inswing with the new ball.”
Tillakaratne noted that the spinners couldn’t break the partnership, so he wanted to shake things up by bringing back Marufa. “She is one of the top bowlers in the world right now,” he said. “Also the batters were handling the spinners very well, so we want to break the momentum. That’s one of the reasons we wanted to bowl Marufa.”
Tillakaratne, however, wasn’t pleased with Bangladesh’s total and called for a better performance from his batting line-up. “We were looking at least a 200-plus score because the wicket was keeping low,” he said. “There’s no demons on the wicket. The wicket played really well. Unfortunately, our batters faltered and were short by 50-60 runs.
“I think there are a few loose ends that we need to tighten up before the second one. So, we’ll have a discussion tomorrow, and we’ll come back strongly for the second and third one.”
Nigar, meanwhile, urged her team to hold off any big celebrations and focus on achieving more in this series. “The girls were quite excited but I told them our job isn’t done yet,” she said. “Doing well raises our responsibilities. There are more expectations on us now.
“We know that if we continue to play better cricket, we will take another step towards a bigger achievement. So I have kept them calmed down from a big celebration.”