Mashrafe points finger at 'lethargic' fielding

Five of Bangladesh’s six bowlers went at over six per over © AFP

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza described his team’s fielding as “lethargic” after their 77-run loss to New Zealand in the first ODI in Christchurch. New Zealand’s innings included three dropped catches but what stood out even more was the Bangladesh fielders’ lack of intensity in running towards the ball, coupled with misfields throughout the game.

New Zealand ran a whopping 27 twos and three threes when they batted, with Tom Latham, who scored his second ODI ton, ensuring that the scoring did not stagnate even if boundaries were hard to come by. The Bangladesh captain reckoned that his team gave away at least 20 extra runs while fielding.

“I thought we were lethargic in our fielding,” Mashrafe said. “It was pretty disappointing. It would have motivated the bowlers had we fielded a little better. They took a lot of twos and threes, which we could have checked. We wanted to restrict them within 280 to 300, and, even if we had lost early wickets, we could have made a game out of that sort of target.”

Mashrafe said his bowlers also bowled too short, particularly at New Zealand’s top scorer Latham and Colin Munro, who made 87 off 61 balls. Both batsmen hit four sixes each, most of them pulled towards midwicket and square leg.

“Latham and Munro took the game away from us. They handled the bowlers really well, and all the credit goes to these two batsmen. But I think we bowled too many short balls to him.

“New Zealand’s short balls were head height, while we could bowl up to chest height which was easier for them to play shots. I think we should have adjusted it earlier, but we still have two matches left.”

Despite so many errors in the field and a poor start with the bat, Mashrafe said that he still hoped for a tighter chase, banking on Shakib Al Hasan, Sabbir Rahman and Mushfiqur Rahim.

“The dismissals of Shakib and Sabbir set us back on a good batting track,” Mashrafe said. “At one stage we needed a T20-type chase, but Mushfiqur got injured. We could have pushed them further in the latter overs.”

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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