Mahmudullah rues costly lapses

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Hindustan Surkhiyan Desk:Despite making a good start with the ball giving away 49 runs in the Powerplay, Bangladesh failed to sustain the pressure towards the end of the innings and lost the momentum as India piled on 176 for 3 in 20 overs.  And with the bat, the Tigers lost three early wickets inside the Powerplay, leaving the rest of the batting line-up facing an uphill task.

Bangladesh skipper Mahmudullah Riyad felt these were the lapses that proved decisive in the final reckoning after his side conceded a 17-run defeat against India at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo last night.

“I think we started well with the ball but gave away too many runs in the last few overs. If we had conceded 10 runs fewer, it would have helped us,” the skipper said in the post-match press conference.

“With the bat, Mushfiqur made 72 out of 160-odd. If another top-order batsman could have contributed with around 25 runs, things might have been different for us,” added the all-rounder.

The 32-year-old, however, said that Bangladesh should have chased down the target despite the pitch being slightly on the slower side.

“Rohit Sharma initially took a bit of time to get settled. He paced his innings, and took on particular bowlers. He batted really well. I think we were playing too fast in the Powerplay. If some of our batsmen played proper cricketing shots, it would have been good for us. We need to think about these areas and to have clear plans,” he said.

Mahmudullah credited his bowlers for giving them a fine start. While Nazmul Islam gave Bangladesh a tidy start, eventually conceding 27 runs in four overs without success, Rubel Hossain was especially effective, taking two wickets for 27 runs in his spell.

When asked whether the team management should think about adding another batsman to strengthen the line-up, the Tigers’ skipper said, “Every team has scored heavily in this tournament. If you play with one less bowler, there is more risk. You need to have five specialist bowlers. We are relying a lot on our top-order batting. I think they didn’t do it today but we are hopeful that they will do the job in the next game.”

The right-hander, who was dismissed for 11 at a crucial period of the innings, blamed himself for not being able to build a partnership with Mushfiqur.

“We can [change his batting spot]. Normally Soumya [Sarkar] and Tamim [Iqbal] opened the batting but because they [Sri Lanka] were opening with Akila Dananjaya, we thought Liton would be a good option. It is easier to take on an off-spinner for a right-handed batsman. We are thinking about [Mushfiqur’s batting spot], so we want to give him more opportunity. He is in great touch,” Mahmudullah added when asked whether the team management would think of promoting the former skipper up the order in the next game.

The next game, meanwhile, is tomorrow against Sri Lanka — a fixture which has turned into a virtual semi-final. Mahmudullah feels it is home side that will be under pressure.

“We need to be fresh and think about what we need to execute in those conditions. I think death bowling is a concern for us, probably. We need to figure out how to lessen the damage at that stage of the innings,” Mahmudullah concluded.

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