'We couldn't take the pressure' | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 12, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:25 AM, December 12, 2018

'We couldn't take the pressure'

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza lavished praise on Shai Hope for his incredible unbeaten hundred that guided the West Indies to keep the series alive with a four-wicket win in the second ODI of the three-match series at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Mashrafe however blamed the batting for losing its momentum in the middle and failing to put up a challenging total while also lamenting a few dropped catches.

"We lost a lot of wickets when [we were] set in the middle and then Shakib [Al Hasan] and Mahmudullah [Riyad] got out. Dropping some catches was also costly. Credit goes to Shai Hope as he batted really well. He held his nerve and finished it nicely. Our batting was alright till about 20-25 overs," Mashrafe said during the post-match presentation.

"Bowling, we started very well. This was a better pitch than last time. Still it was a good fight. It was a 50-50 match till the end, but we couldn't take the pressure. There's a match left, so hopefully we'll come back," he added.

The series deciding third and final ODI will be take place at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on December 14.

West Indies stand-in skipper Rovman Powell said that the performance created an opportunity for them to win the series against the Tigers following a 2-0 whitewash in the Test series.

"We have a chance now to win the series. Shai played a blinder of an innings. It goes to show that if the batsmen stand up, they can get big scores," said Powell.

"I think the guys did a fantastic job. At the interval we'd take 250 on this wicket. The bowling department has always done well. We didn't start well as we wanted, but we pulled it back in the death overs. The start is something we're looking to improve," he added.

It was no surprise that Hope was adjudged man of the match as he single-handedly took his side to victory after a poor batting performance in the first game at the same venue.

"Not just yet (on top of the world). Still 1-1 in the series, but very pleased. I backed myself and knew that as long as I batted till the end, we'd get a victory. I asked Keemo to bat as deep as he possibly could. It wasn't the easiest wicket to come in on and strike the ball," Hope said after the match.

Hope's partners were often too slow but the right-hander kept his cool and went for the kill when it was required in the end. He looked cool despite the mountain of pressure that he found himself under after the loss of a few wickets in the middle and the rising run-rate, eventually scaling the challenge.

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