A lost opportunity | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 30, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 30, 2008

BRAC Bank Series 2008

A lost opportunity

Bangladesh's saviour Shakib Al Hasan pulls one through the wide mid-on region during his patient knock of 49 during the final day of the second Test against New Zealand at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.Photo: Anisur Rahman

The just concluded home series against New Zealand would be remembered as a lost opportunity for the Tigers.
And that's the reason Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons said after the third and final Test match yesterday that: "It could be amazing but now it's disappointing."
It was especially disappointing because of the way his batsmen jeopardized their position even in a virtually 'two-day Test'' after first three day's play was washed out.
The Australian could not hide his frustration when he said that his side should won both one-day and Test series against the Black Caps. It's seemed that losing the second one-day match at Mirpur still has been haunting the shaven-headed Tigers boss.
Bangladesh went to the second one-day match with a hope of first-ever series victory against any major team other than Zimbabwe as they won the first match by seven wickets, their maiden success against the Kiwis. And the bowlers paved the way by restricting New Zealand for 212 but the batsmen let down the chance to suffer a 75-run defeat.
"I think that we should have probably won both series. We should have won the second one-day game. We played very well in the first game but should have won the second one. We batted very slowly in the early part of that game and probably batted ourselves out of that match," said Siddons expressing his opinion over the whole series.
"We needed one little breakthrough in the Test series. With it we would have won the Test match in Chittagong. It's exciting to have been in a position to win the series. We didn't do it but it was a lot of fun for us this time around because we could have won the series," he added.
Despite his side pushing the Daniel Vettori led Kiwis in the series, Siddons expressed concern about his side's inconsistent batting, especially the way the top order batsmen failed in the series, ahead of the tough challenge in South Africa.
"In South Africa if our top four players fail like that then we cannot expect our five six and seven to save us all the time. It won't happen. They have a good attack and we need our top four to play well. We are getting let down at the top. If we are going to be successful in South Africa, hopefully we can be, we need to get our top four firing," he said reflecting on his side's batting in the series.
"We just got to stay disciplined. We are working hard on leaving the good balls alone outside off stump. I think that's working well. We are not nicking anywhere near as often as we were six to 12 months ago but we are finding other ways to get out," he added.
When asked whether there was belief in the Bangladesh dressing room that beating New Zealand was possible, Siddons said: "We did believe that we can beat New Zealand in our home turf. They are a little inexperienced in batting especially in our conditions. We thought we could bowl them out for a really competitive total and we proved that we can do that. But our batting is inconsistent still and we rely on one or two people to do all the work for us. We should bat better in our conditions."
He also expressed his disappointment over Zunaed Siddiqui's inexplicable charge down the wicket to get stumped against Daniel Vettori with less than two overs to go to close on the fourth day.
"He still has not come up with a reasonable explanation. No coach in the world can stop a player from doing that. It was unacceptable and inexplicable," he said.
Captain Mohammad Ashraful, who failed to reach double figures in the Test series after a bright start in the ODI leg with an unbeaten half-century, also admitted that it could have been a much better series if the top order had some contribution.
"Over all performance in the series as a team was not bad but it could have been much better if top the four batsmen including me could have scored some runs," he said.
He also said that their confidence after the series was good which will help them in the coming series in South Africa.

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