Bangladesh stayed alive at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 thanks to victory over Oman but their performances in the powerplays must get better according to skipper Mahmudullah.
Following an opening defeat to Scotland, Bangladesh took on the hosts knowing that defeat would spell the end of the campaign even before a final game against Papua New Guinea.
There were nervy moments against Oman, with two early wickets in the first innings forcing Bangladesh into a cautious approach, sitting at 29 for two after the first six overs.
By contrast, Oman raced out of the blocks, Jatinder Singh and Kashyap Prajapati both showing plenty of intent to reach 47 for two.
With both bat and ball, it meant that Bangladesh had to fight back, and while there is plenty to be said for that resilience, Mahmudullah knows his team have more to give.
He said: “We'll take this win, but I think there are a lot of areas we need to improve. I hope everyone is happy. Thanks to the crowd that came in, they expect us to win. Delivering a win for them, for the country is the most important thing.
“Shakib and Naim batted brilliantly, they had a good partnerships and that took us to 150-plus. But we should have done better with the new ball, bowled a lot of wides.
“We need to see those areas and correct them. I think our death bowling was going well. In the middle part we brought the game back. But the first six overs – batting and bowling – we need to improve.”
For Oman, this defeat means that it will all come down to the final game against Scotland. One opportunity to seal one of the top two spots in Group 2 and a place in the Super 12 has gone, but another remains.
The big win over Papua New Guinea first up means that a win over Scotland would likely be enough, regardless of what Bangladesh do against PNG. If things fall the right way, Oman could yet top the group and secure the B1 spot in Group 2 of the Super 12.
At this stage though, skipper Zeeshan Maqsood simply wants to please the home crowd who turned out in their numbers.
He said: “There is no pressure, it's a boost (having fans). Sorry to the people, we couldn't make them happy, but it's cricket, it's a sport so we'll come back and fight back and make them happy. We have to see where we went wrong, come back and crack that. It's just another game.
“It was quite a chasable target, the way our opening stand went and we batted in the middle. But the last five-six overs didn't go so well, we lost a lot of wickets. Credit goes to the bowlers. We were in the game 15-16 overs, we needed 50-odd runs in 36 balls, it's not a big margin.”