Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza said had the bowling been disciplined and the fielding up to the mark the first one-day international against New Zealand could have been a closely-fought game.
“We have conceded 40 to 50 runs due to some lax bowling. The fielding was also lethargic. If we could have contained them close to 290 it could have been a different story,” Mashrafe said in the post-match briefing after his side's 77-run defeat against the Black Caps at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch today.
New Zealand rode on a magnificent 137 by opener Tim Latham to post a massive 341 for seven, their highest score against Bangladesh. The Tigers, in their chase, posted 264 for nine in 44.4 overs with young batsman Mosaddek Hossan hitting an unbeaten 50 off 44 balls.
His innings could not progress further after Mushfiqur Rahim, who limped off the ground with a left hamstring injury after scoring 42, did not return to bat.
“Mushfiqur has suffered hamstring injury on his left thigh. At the moment he is getting ice bag treatment. We will have a scan after 48 hours,” Mashrafe said about his key wicketkeeper-batsman and Bangladesh's Test captain.
“Our pace bowlers did not bowl well; especially their short deliveries were meant to be hit because they were bowling above the waist-height when it should have been a bit higher in these conditions. Besides, we also did not field well,” said the skipper, adding that Latham played very well.
“He actually took the game away from us with [Colin] Munro. It was against them our plan did not work,” Mashrafe admitted.
When asked to comment on the performance of Mustafizur Rahaman, the young pace sensation who was playing his first game after six months due to a shoulder injury, Mashrafe said that he was still recovering.
“His cutters were not effective from the end he was bowling. Since he was being hit with the wind a few miss-hits off his cutters sailed over the boundary. So, we tried him from the other end. He looked good and will improve with every game,” the captain said about his lethal weapon.
Despite being up against a huge task of toppling New Zealand's score, Mashrafe believed that they were still in the game when Shakib Al Hasan was batting.
“Shakib was batting very well and with Mushfiqur with him we had a chance. The target was to reach 170 by the end of 35 overs. Unfortunately he got out and Sabbir (Rahman) also failed to score,” said Mashrafe.
Bangladesh played eight batsmen and four specialist bowlers including Shakib Al Hasan yesterday. When asked if the team had thought about taking an extra bowler in the team, Mashrafe said: “I think there are problems both ways. Had we bowled a bit better as a group, we could have won the game. Yes, it could have been better if we had an extra bowler, but then again it's something difficult to predict.”
Despite the poor performance on the field, Mashrafe managed to find a positive angle. “Our performance was a bit alarming. But it was good to see our batsmen fight it out despite losing wickets early in the game. We were in a difficult position but our batsmen still tried,” said Mashrafe.