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April 9, 2011
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan believes a poor morning in the field, rather than a somewhat half-hearted chase of Australia's healthy 270, cost Bangladesh dearly in losing the opening match of the limited-overs series at Mirpur.
While Shakib himself bowled well to return a tidy 0 for 34 from 10 overs, he had little support at the death as the Australians stole 31 runs from the last two overs of their innings. It was this period, fuelled by new captain Michael Clarke (101) and the muscular Mitchell Johnson (26, 13 balls), that turned Bangladesh's chase from realistic to improbable.
"I think we gave them 20 more runs, I thought we didn't field well today. Mainly that cost us the game almost," Shakib said. "But I think the way we batted, we batted sensibly, we should've scored a bit more runs towards the end. If we'd been a bit more aggressive we could have scored a bit more runs, but I thought we gave them too many runs.
"At one stage they were 225 for 5 with just two or three overs left, and they scored 31 runs in the last two overs. But that can always happen in the death overs when they have got set batsmen like Michael Clarke, who played very well. So when they scored 270 on that wicket it was really hard for us to chase it down."
Many in the crowd at the Shere Bangla Stadium were left puzzled by the nature of the Bangladesh chase, which petered out all too easily once the Wisden Cricketer of the Year Tamim Iqbal (62) was caught in the deep, leaving his team on 116 for 4 after 30 overs.
Clarke expressed plenty of surprise at his opponents' lack of ambition on an admittedly wearing surface. "To be honest I thought they played pretty well at the start of their innings, I was very surprised that they didn't have more of a go at the end of the game," he said. "I thought they might've played a few more shots, they still had wickets in hand, to me I'd rather lose the game with everybody getting out than only being five down and falling 70 runs short. So that surprised me more than anything else."
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Daniel Brettig
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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