‘It is hard to go after the bowling without getting set, regardless of how the wicket is’ – Mashrafe Mortaza © AFP
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said losing four wickets in the first three overs put paid to their chase of 181 in the fourth T20I against Zimbabwe in Khulna.
Bangladesh were 17 for 4 sixteen balls into their innings and Mashrafe reasoned that a flat track had made his batsmen drop their guard. “I think the problem was that they became overexcited seeing the wicket,” he said. “It is hard to go after the bowling without getting set, regardless of how the wicket is. I think everyone rushed into playing their shots. I thought [Mahmudullah] Riyad batted well and he took us close. I think we could have made it had we needed 15-16 off the last over with a batsman at the crease.”
Mahmudullah, who struck 54 off 41 balls, and Imrul Kayes attempted to pick up the pieces after the Powerplay, but Kayes was dimissed in the seventh over and Bangladesh lost momentum again.
“The possibilities go down when you lose four wickets in three overs chasing 181 runs,” Mashrafe said. “Still, Imrul and Mahmudullah batted well together. We got behind the game after Imrul’s dismissal but we were on the backfoot after the first four wickets.
A lot has been said, from both sides, about this series being used as a means to figure out their best XIs, but Mashrafe insisted that Bangladesh placed enough emphasis on winning the series too. “Whether we were experimenting or not, our goal was to win the game. We didn’t bat well in the last two games. Our balance wasn’t right, and the same can be applied to the bowling effort.”
Bangladesh tried 18 players in the four-match series and it has helped narrow down their selections for future series. “We needed to see a few places, because at least eight or nine of the 15-man squad remains confirmed. We got an idea of their potential. We have to be ready for the challenge that will come in the Asia Cup. We have to mentally prepared about a T20 game swinging in an over or two,” Mashrafe said.
Mashrafe also hoped the team could develop the mental strength needed to chase totals upwards of 170 and 180 against bigger teams in the Asia Cup T20 and World T20. “We did well in the third game chasing 187, and perhaps would have been successful had there not been the middle-order collapse. We got some idea about chasing. Bigger teams will make 170-180 against us in the World T20 or Asia Cup so we have to create the ability to chase these totals.
“Nobody wants to lose wearing the Bangladesh colours,” Mashrafe said. “But we have time on hand before the Asia Cup, so that we can work on those areas. I think we can correct our mistakes.”
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo