'Not an ideal wicket for T20s'
Despite bundling Bangladesh out for just 70 runs before going on to win their game by nine wickets in the Women's Asia Cup, Pakistan opener Sidra Ameen stated that the slow and low Sylhet ground-2 pitch was far from ideal for T20 cricket.
Man of the match Sidra was unbeaten on 36 as her side chased down the target with ease after Bangladesh struggled right from the start after being asked to bat before crawling to 70 for eight in 20 overs.
"I don't think this is an ideal wicket for the T20 format, but as players, we have to adjust and play. I think 100, 80 or even 70 runs may be enough since there was plenty of turn on offer. Bowlers that were able to get flight also got turn and the ball kept low. It's difficult to improvise and tough to play too many strokes," Sidra told the media after the game yesterday.
The tournament's tight schedule, which will see the venue host 10 games across five days, means that the surfaces are not allowed enough time to rest. Coupled with the early start for morning games, which begin at 9:00am, the toss has become paramount.
Adding to that is persistent rain, which makes things even more difficult for the groundstaff, while the dampness of the early mornings makes things even more difficult for the batters.
"I think toss was very important since the wicket was very slow and low and it was also turning a lot. Our bowlers bowled well and they should get credit. Bangladesh didn't get enough runs on the board."
On the other hand, Bangladesh, who aimed to undo Pakistan with spin, fell victim to the same trap that they were trying to set.
Salma Khatun finished as the top scorer with an unbeaten 24 in a game where Bangladesh were reduced on 48 for 6 inside 16 overs.
Salma also expressed her disappointment over the pitch and termed it a 'different surface' after the game.
"The wicket was different. There was a lot of turn. There was not much turn in the previous game, which is why batters were getting beaten. We were under pressure after losing a wicket in the first over of the innings," said Salma.
Interestingly, Bangladesh skipper Nigar Sultana Joty was seemingly unable to read the pitch, stating that the hosts would have batted first had she won the toss. "I don't know what the captain's decision was. Decisions come from the team management, coach and captain," Salma added.
Regardless of the tough nature of the surface, it is imperative that Bangladesh improve their skills, especially in the batting department, which has been a huge concern in recent times.
The Tigresses will take on Malaysia in their next game on October 6 at the main ground of the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium.