Bangladesh were in a great position to create history during the third and final Twenty20 International against India at the VCA stadium, Nagpur. Mohammad Naim was batting brilliantly and was nearing a century. His 98-run stand with Mohammad Mithun put Bangladesh under control. However, Mithun fell to Deepak Chahar and Shivam Dube got the wickets of Mushfiqur Rahim and Afif Hossain. Dube sealed the game by yorking Naim for 81 and Chahar took a hat-trick to finish with 6/7 as Bangladesh lost eight wickets for 34 runs to lose the match by 30 runs and the series 2-1. In the Rajkot game, they managed to score under 30 runs in the last four overs which hurt them.
In the post-match press conference, Mahmudullah rued the fact that they could not maintain their momentum and cited the lack of power hitters who could get the team over the line. "We have a long way to go in T20 cricket. We don't have big hitters. We have to be dependent on our skill hitting. So we are working on our game sense and become more consistent mentally. As a batting unit, if we can improve then we will have more chances to win. I am not sure whether it was composer or not. But if you see, we did similar kind of mistakes probably in few games in recent times. That's where I think big teams are quite good and very consistent in these situations and they can chase down this sort of total. Having said that, the wicket was very good to chase on. Our bowlers did a very good job to restrict them to 174. We just didn't finish well," Mahmudullah said.
Mahmudullah admitted the experienced hands like him and Mushfiqur Rahim should have take the team over the line after rookie opener Mohammad Naim took the game deep with a brilliant 81 off 48 balls. Not many expected Bangladesh to take the series right down to the wire, especially in the absence of senior players Tamim Iqbal and the suspended Shakib Al Hasan. Mahmudullah, though, picked out the performances of opener Naim, pacer Al-Amin Hossan and spinner Aminul Islam as positives out of the India series.
"I can't blame Mushy. He won us the game in Delhi. So you can't say he failed miserably. Yeah, if you say about today's game, yes we failed. That I agree. Al Amin was brilliant. I think he is one of the best T20 bowlers from our country. I personally feel that. International or domestic cricket, he is always a consistent performer. Naim's innings was beautiful to watch. I am feeling bad that we could not finish it. That's why I have more regret. Because he batted so well. We should have finished it for him," Mahmdullah said.
The action now shifts to the two-Test series which will be part of the ICC World Test Championships. The first Test will be in Indore while the second Test will be at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata and it will be a historic Day-Night Test where both teams will be playing the Pink Ball Test for the first time.