Mahmudullah Riyad has emerged as one of the calmest and most composed characters in the Bangladesh dressing room due to his ability to absorb pressure in crucial moments. The 32-year-old once again proved invaluable with a penultimate-ball six against Sri Lanka that powered the Tigers to the Nidahas Trophy final in Sri Lanka last month. The elegant right-hander spoke to The Daily Star's Mazhar Uddin in an exclusive interview, sharing his perspective on the memorable win and the tumultuous lead-up to that six, along with few other topics at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday. The followings are the excerpts of the conversation:
The Daily Star (TDS): Was that six in Colombo the most memorable shot of your career?
Mahmudullah Riyad (MR): Yes, I must say that six is one of the most memorable moments in my career so far. The Nidahas Trophy was very important for us as there were a few questions over our ability in the T20 format. So I think we have overcome that and took a step forward. Very few believed that we were going to reach the final before the start of the tournament. But I had said before that we need a win to change the scenario of our team and everyone had that commitment and were able to do that.
TDS: Describe the situation before you went to bat after the no-ball incident.
MR: If I talk about the nerves I can't explain that situation as there was huge chaos in that over and it had a positive impact on me when it came to seizing the momentum and taking my side through to the finish line. It was a special match, especially because there were a few moments that I was a part of previously where we were unable to seize the moment but in that game we managed to overcome that and eventually we won; that was the most pleasing thing.
TDS: What were you actually thinking when 12 were needed off the last four balls from Isuru Udana and you hit a wide one for a four off the first of those?
MR: First -- that four over cover, which was almost a wide ball but thankfully the timing was good and it went for four. Off the next ball I took two runs. And before facing the fifth ball [of the over] I was literally praying to the Almighty so that I could finish it off. At the same time I tried to remain calm. I always believe that calmness is very important in cricket and it has helped me in my game. So I was thinking 'just watch the ball and play according to the delivery'. I was focusing on looking at the ball till the last moment and in these situations, the batsman tends to tighten the grip and have a lot of negative thoughts. The most important thing was that we managed to win the game at the end and after that the celebration was also memorable.
TDS: Do you think the match-winning knock against Sri Lanka will somehow help you overcome the memory of the horrible one-run defeat against India in Bangalore [2016 World Twenty20]?
MR: I want to say one thing, even in that situation against Sri Lanka I thought of Bangalore and the Asia Cup  final and what was important was that I was able to learn from those mistakes. I was lucky that we ended up on the winning side but as long I will play this game I will look to learn from those incidents.
TDS: Do you think your place in the batting order is stable now?
MR: In a sense yes. It's steady as if you look at the ODIs I have batted at number seven-eight at the start of my career and after [Chandika] Hathurusingha joined I got my promotion to number four against Zimbabwe in 2014 while the team was expecting I play the role of a finisher in T20s. I want to have that versatility and whatever the team expects from me at any situation, I am able to do that. But obviously it's a big opportunity to bat in the top order and you have the platform to score big. Team requirements first...
I have learned a lot and I am more composed both professionally and personally; I am learning day by day. I think you can learn everyday from cricket if you want to and if you work on those small things you will improve. I have enjoyed the captaincy and I am proud that we managed to register a record chase against Sri Lanka in the Nidahas Trophy.