Bowlers failed to deal with the pressure – Mashrafe

Mashrafe Mortaza admitted his bowlers could not stick to their plans against the early charge from Ahmed Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez © AFP

His team had impressed on seaming tracks in the Asia Cup, but Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said his side needed to adjust better to flat surfaces, following the 55-run loss to Pakistan in a World T20 match in Kolkata.

Bangladesh had conceded 201 for 5 against a Pakistan side they had restricted to 129 only two weeks prior. The difference, Mashrafe felt, was in the surface, which bore a covering of thin grass in patches, but offered little for the bowlers all evening.

“When we first saw the wicket it, was a bit grassy and we thought it would the help the bowlers, but our judgement was totally wrong,” Mashrafe said. “In the Asia Cup, those surfaces were different. We saw there that Pakistan’s bowling was confident, but there were doubts about the batting. This Eden surface – we thought that it would be to Pakistan’s advantage because their bowling is already strong and this surface would favour their batsmen. The ball would come onto the bat.”

Mashrafe laid the blame for the defeat largely at the feet of his bowlers, who were expensive from the outset. Pakistan had been 55 for 1 at the end of the Powerplay, and continued to score at around nine an over, until Shahid Afridi’s innings put them on course for 200. Only part-timer Sabbir Rahman went at less than eight an over, delivering two overs for 11 runs.

“Ahmed Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez took a lot of risks in those six overs and took the game away from our hands,” Mashrafe said. “But we could have done a lot better. We couldn’t deal with that pressure. Even if we had kept them to 160 or 170, on that wicket, we could have tried something. We couldn’t stick to our plans. We couldn’t play the way we needed to.”

This loss now having left Bangladesh with a net run rate of -2.75, Mashrafe’s team face a tough challenge in qualifying for the semi-finals. They play Australia in Bangalore next, on a track Mashrafe expects to be even better for batting than Eden Gardens was.

“We lost this match by 55 runs, it was a huge margin. We didn’t want this heavy defeat. At least we managed to reduce the margin towards the end, with our batting,” he said. “We will have to do better in the next match because I think the wickets will be even flatter than this, and Australia’s batting will be much stronger. So there are obviously sterner challenges lying ahead for us.

“I think we have to get our mindset right. We need to regroup before that match. It’s tough to predict how the group will play out but every match will be tough for sure.”

Mashrafe said his team had missed its “best bowler” Mustafizur Rahman, but also said Mustafizur had been “close to playing”.

“He would have made a difference today. It’s tough to give you details of his fitness but I hope he’ll be fit for the next match.”

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo’s Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.


Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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