Rahim banks on success without Shakib

Bangladesh

Captain Mushfiqur Rahim delighted Bangladesh's 43-run victory over New Zealand in Tuesday's rain-affected first ODI in Mirpur, despite the absence of the veteran Shakib Al Hasan.

Captain Mushfiqur Rahim delighted Bangladesh's 43-run victory over New Zealand in Tuesday's rain-affected first ODI in Mirpur, despite the absence of the veteran Shakib Al Hasan.

Dengue fever sidelined Shakib, leaving the bowling and batting stocks under-resourced for a key opener to the three-match series. Rahim, batsman Naeem Islam and seamer Rubel Hossain, however, delivered on cue.

Rahim and Islam scored 90 and 84 respectively in a final total of 265 all out, after which the Black Caps slumped to a mere 162 all out in the wake of Hossain's six-wicket haul, which included a hat-trick.

"We really needed this win. Shakib wasn't in the team. It is a big loss. He played very well against them last time. So I tried telling everyone that we shouldn't lose in our minds before we have actually lost," said Rahim.

"We won three-two against West Indies last year without him, and I thought that we could have won five-nil had he been in the team. We will always miss him, although we may not see him in this series."

The right-handed Rahim struck eight boundaries and two sixes en route to a near century, which spanned 98 deliveries and 144 minutes – and proved instrumental during a 154-run alliance in 30 overs alongside Naeem.

"I have no regrets for not getting the ton because the team won. I felt a little bad not to complete the century because I hadn't scored a fifty in quite a while. I was determined to give it my all today, get a partnership going," he added.

"Naeem played very well. He supported me. We really needed it at the time. Everyone helps each other, not just the seniors, the younger players also chip in. The spinners didn't bowl too badly."

The second ODI will get underway at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka on Thursday. The Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah will host the final fixture on Sunday.

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