Defeated before defeat | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 09, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 09, 2008

Kitply Cup Bangladesh-India-Pakistan

Defeated before defeat

NO WAY OUT: Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful is being struck by a bouncer from Pakistan paceman Sohail Tanveer during the opening match of the tri-nation one-day series at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday. Photo: Anisur Rahman

Pakistan coach Jeff Lawson specially thanked the rain gods after his side secured an emphatic 70-run victory against hosts Bangladesh in the Kitply Cup opener at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
The Australian also praised the ground staff in Mirpur for whom the game finished despite the mid-afternoon heavy downpour that delayed the match by two hours.
"We were lucky enough that rain didn't come again and the groudsmen did the hardest job. The ground is really fantastic. For all of their efforts, we finished the match," said Lawson with a smile on his face while speaking at the post-match briefing held at midnight.
It seemed that Lawson hardly had any doubt about the outcome of the match and the only threat for them was the seasonal rain.
But more interest was when Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons came to speak to the media earlier.
Siddons, like his Aussie counterpart, also had the same belief on the outcome and as a result he had no reason to be disappointed with his boys after yet another heavy defeat at the hands of Shoaib Malik's men after a humiliating 5-0 whitewash in Pakistan last April.
His explanation in the post-match briefing made it clear that they accepted the defeat once Pakistan put up 233 runs in 39.3 overs.
"It was impossible chasing down 233 runs in 40 overs. It was a tough task. Actually our bowlers let the team down and they should take a long, hard look at themselves," said the shaven-headed coach when asked whether his batsmen went to the middle with the target of a victory.
So one easily understood the approach of the Bangladesh team -- there is now no win in their book rather they only want to find something positive even from the worst possible outcome.
So don't be frustrated with the score of 163-8 in 40 overs.
One may be surprised with the batting approach of skipper Mohammad Ashraful because everybody believes that when Ashraful's bat speaks, something special is around the corner for the Tigers.
Yes, the right-hander was at the crease till the last delivery but his 90-ball 56 was nothing more than for his individual benefit.
Siddons was however satisfied with his skipper's effort as finally Ashraful listened by occupying the crease when the result is totally irrelevant. He was so cautious that he played out a maiden off the final over of the match. The over was bowled by Younis Khan.
"It's a very good innings. It might have been a little bit on the slow side but he returned among the runs which is encouraging," said Siddons.
"Yes, there were a number of positives. The bowling of Alok Kapali, the batting of Ashraful and the fielding was also good. Of course we earned some positives from the match," he observed when asked about them.
Captain Ashraful however was more logical than his coach, for a change, as he was subdued despite making a half-century after a seven-match gap.
"I think it was possible to chase the score but we failed to have partnerships. Actually I had a plan to make a partnership with Tamim and then go for the kill but I have to change my mind after losing few quick wickets in the middle. Afridi bowled very well to dash our hopes," said Ashraful, most of whose innings brought something special for Bangladesh.
But he also made one thing clear that now their target is not to win the match.
"We don't want to take the pressure by saying that we want to win the match against India," said Bangladesh skipper when he was asked whether they have any target to win the game against India.

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