Imrul sides with Mushy
There were no heroes for Bangladesh yesterday. No miraculous partnership from the opening pair; nothing special from the slow left-armers; even the salvage shown by the top order throughout the series was missing.
For once, Bangladesh took a leaf out of their pre-World Cup era book and looked quite helpless. Despite their opponents' mammoth 557, there was a sense of hope -- based on their performances in the recent past -- and many believed that the batsmen would be able to shrug off their tiredness and put up a brave display.
However, some good bowling from the visitors combined with some mindless stroke-play from the Tigers, have almost shut the door on the hosts.
If the team management wasn't exactly sure whether bowling first on this wicket was a bad decision, they must have been kicking themselves by the end of lunch yesterday.
Regardless, opener Imrul Kayes defended the captain's decision to bowl first, saying that things would have been different had they got wickets off the deliveries which were later deemed as no-balls.
"We have an experienced captain who understands the game well. We have the coaches and a good team management. There was something in the wicket on the first day. It was our bad luck that [Shahadat Hossain] Rajib got injured.
"We were playing with three pace bowlers [including Soumya Sarkar]. If we could have properly used the conditions, they wouldn't have scored so many runs," said Imrul.
"Pakistan's batsmen saw what was on that wicket on the first day. We could also realise that while fielding. I think that's why our management -- captain and coach -- decided to field first. If those two catches were not no-balls, we could have had a different match," he added.
While Imrul stated clear-cut reasons behind the team's decision to field first, he couldn't explain the reason behind Bangladesh's batting collapse. The top-order looked tired and were dangerously slashing away at anything that was outside the off-stump.
"Batsmen try to take responsibility but it doesn't always come off. They bowled well and with discipline. As a top-order we failed in this innings," said Imrul.
"We lost five early wickets today. But if we keep thinking about it we will go further on the back-foot. We have to be positive," he added.
However, the hopeful left-hander still believes that the likes of Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar and Shuvagata Hom can get set and give Bangladesh the 251 runs it need to avoid following on.