'30-40 runs made the difference'
Bangladesh captain Tamim Iqbal blamed his batting unit for the three-wicket defeat against England in the opening match of the three-match ODI series at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today.
"I thought the position we were in; we should have scored at least 30-35 more. It was a good wicket for spinners. We started well and lost three back-to-back wickets. 250 is gettable on this wicket. We were going like that," Tamim said during a post-match presentation.
Player-of-the-match Dawid Malan, who single-handedly took the match away from the home side, said that it would have been tough for them if Bangladesh had gotten 30-40 runs more.
"I spent a fair bit of time in Bangladesh (during BPL), especially at this ground. I told Jos [Buttler] it would have been tough to chase if they'd have got 30-40 more. Don't think you can knock the target with two down on this surface. We had a few 30-40 run partnerships and that helped wrestle back the game. You know they have a lot of spin. Satisfying to get over the line, handling pressure is part of the job," said Malan.
Najmul Hossain Shanto (58 off 82) hit his maiden ODI fifty but no other Bangladeshi batter could stamp their authority.
After Bangladesh got off to a decent start, amassing 54 for the loss of two wickets in 10 overs, Shanto starred in a 44-run third-wicket stand with Mushfiqur Rahim.
However, England spinners came into play in the middle and dealt two heavy blows as Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali scalped the crucial wickets of Mushfiqur and Shakib Al Hasan respectively in quick succession to leave the Tigers reeling at 106 for four in 22.4 overs.
Shanto once again consolidated, this time through a 53-run fifth-wicket stand with Mahmudullah Riyad, although the latter never looked in control of his shots.
After Shanto was caught at short midwicket while trying to dispatch a Rashid delivery in the 36th over, Mahmudullah (31 off 48) followed suit the very next over. And Bangladesh never managed to stage a comeback.
However, Tamim heaped praise on his side's bowling effort.
"The bowling unit did well, we fielded well and fought extremely well. Have to give it to Malan. We tried all our bowling options. Whenever the wicket was there, we kept catchers in. Proud of the bowlers the way they bowled. Have to credit one man, Malan."
England captain Buttler said: "We are delighted to win. Spoke a lot about conditions before the match. These are tough conditions. Malan's innings is an example for us on how to play on these wickets. There was plenty on the wicket for both spinners and pacers."