'Wicketless Powerplay hurt' – Mashrafe

Mashrafe Mortaza admitted that losing wickets at inopportune moments stalled Bangladesh’s progress © AFP

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza has said that his team needed to pick up wickets in the Powerplay overs of Australia’s chase to have had a chance of defending 156 on a “flattish” pitch.

Led by Usman Khawaja, Australia raced to 51 for no loss in the first six overs of their innings, and eventually chased down the target with nine balls to spare.

“This ground has always been high-scoring, but still I think we got a total that we could fight it out,” Mashrafe said. “First six overs were very crucial, we couldn’t get any wickets. Later on, we got [Shane] Watson, but it was too late, I think. And obviously, fielding should have been a lot better.” Bangladesh dropped two catches, letting off Watson on 12 and John Hastings on 0. The two finished with 21 and 3 respectively.

Mashrafe felt Bangladesh could have posted 170 if they had not lost wickets at inopportune moments at the start and middle of their innings. That they made 156 was down to an unbeaten 29-ball 49 from Mahmudullah.

Asked why Mahmudullah, who had batted at No. 5 in the two innings he had played in the tournament before this one, was demoted, Mashrafe said the batsman felt more comfortable at No. 6. “We have been promoting him. Last three matches, we were promoting him to No. 5,” Mashrafe said. “He doesn’t feel that confident in that particular [slot], because he feels that at No. 6 he has been scoring, so whatever he feels that he is comfortable, we try to adjust like that.”

A big miss for Bangladesh in the batting department was Tamim Iqbal, who fell ill and missed the match. Mashrafe expected him to recover in time for their next match, against India on Wednesday. “I think he got a little bit of food poisoning and he was very tired at that time, so hopefully it will be fine. There are 40 hours left for the [next] match, so I think he will be all right.”

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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