One bad over apiece from Mashrafe Mortaza and Ziaur Rahman was the difference between victory and defeat, Mushfiqur Rahim said, after Bangladesh slumped to its fourth consecutive loss in the ICC World Twenty20 2014 on Sunday (March 30).
Bangladesh went down by 50 runs to Pakistan in its penultimate Super 10 Group 2 game after conceding 190 and settling for 140 for 7. The overs Rahim spoke about were Mortaza’s final over, the 19th of the innings, which went for 24, after Ziaur’s medium pace had disappeared for 22 in his only over, the 13th of the innings. Mortaza, incidentally, finished with 0 for 63 from his four overs.
“I thought the spinners bowled very well – Shakib (Al Hasan), (Abdur) Razzak and (Mahmudullah) Riyad – but one over from Mashrafe and one over from Zia cost us the match,” said the Bangladesh captain, also alluding to his three spinners boasting combined figures of 11-0-65-4.
“When you are conceding 20-odd runs in one over, it's very difficult to come back. Ahmed Shehzad also batted really well throughout the innings, which didn't help us. I thought 160, 170 could have been a different ball game. And also, in the batting, we did not capitalise in the first six overs and also lost a couple of early wickets. We did not get the momentum that we needed. But I still thought it was a bit improved performance from the last game with the bat. There is still one more game to go, we have to perform well there.”
Bangladesh has had a poor time of it of late at home, being cleaned up in a bilateral series by Sri Lanka, losing all four games in the Asia Cup and now sitting on a four-match losing streak at the World T20. “It’s obvious,” replied Rahim when asked how much it was affecting him individually. “When you are losing, it will affect not only me. No one wants to go there and lose games; it is really disappointing.
“Against India, Pakistan or those teams, we have not been performing well in T20s. We don't have powerful batsmen down there or match-winners, not four or five. There are a few but not like (Saeed) Ajmal, (Shahid) Afridi, (Umar) Gul or (Mohammad) Hafeez. We are really trying our best, but some of the boys are not in peak form, so that doesn't help. We have one more game to go, and if we can win the last game, that will give us something to cheer.”
Despite the string of losses, Rahim said there had been some positives for Bangladesh from this tournament. “Our first target was to get through the first round, which we did,” he pointed out. “But our main target, if we qualified, was to do well in the big group with the big teams. But, unfortunately, we haven’t been able to perform well.
“A couple of guys didn't perform to their ability, and that is really important. When someone is not scoring runs or bowling well, it is very difficult. If only one or two guys are playing well from the 11, it becomes very tough. When you are playing against India, Pakistan and West Indies, you have to play well as a team and have contributions from all batsmen and all bowlers. It’s been a really disappointing tournament so far, but we have one more game to go; we would really like to finish it well so that we can take some positives out of the last game.”