“Shanto’s Spectacular Performance Earns Glowing Acclaim from Mushfiqur: A Captain’s Triumph Against Sri Lanka!”

Najmul Hossain Shanto’s match-winning 122* against Sri Lanka was praised by former skipper Mushfiqur Rahim, who described it as a “one-man show”.

After being asked to bowl by Sri Lanka, Shanto’s Bangladesh team showed initiative on the field, taking wickets at regular intervals to bowl out the tourists for 255 in the 49th over. In the second innings, Shanto led from the front.

Coming in after the Tigers had lost Litton Das (0) off the very first ball, Shanto took charge. Despite losing Soumya Sarkar (3) and Towhid Hridoy (3) in no time, Shanto kept his calm and stitched important stands with Mahmudullah (37) and Mushfiqur (73*). His 165-run stand with the latter helped Bangladesh seal the game in the 45th over.

His unbeaten 122 included 13 fours and two sixes, earning him the Player of the Match award. After the game, his senior teammate Mushfiqur praised the 25-year-old.

“He was excellent. It was a one-man show tonight. I think leadership brings out the best in some individuals,” Mushfiqur said. “Shanto is definitely one of them. He really enjoys the captaincy. Shanto is the sort of guy who has the mentality to take responsibility as a challenge. I knew that he would score runs at the highest level.”

After a temporary stint at the helm, Shanto was appointed as Bangladesh’s full-time skipper across formats in February 2024.

Mushfiqur also believed that Bangladesh had the right atmosphere in the dressing room.

“Atmosphere is very important. We don’t worry about the outcome. We try to keep our processes intact. We don’t expect all seven batters to get centuries every day but as long as he sticks to his strengths and practice routines, it was just a matter of time.” The wicketkeeper-batter believed that Shanto had improved on his batting and now knew how to make the most of good starts.

“He plays more fluently. He can be more dominating (now). He used to get 50s or 60s after getting a good start, but now he is playing long innings,” Mushfiqur added.

“The way he took a single to mid-on just after getting that hundred showed that he was so calm and thoughtful towards the team. We kept telling each other that we should keep getting the next 20 or 30 runs so that they don’t get a sniff in vital moments.”

The second and third games of the series will also be played in Chattogram, on March 15 and 18, respectively.

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