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December 6, 2011
Mushfiqur Rahim and Misbah-ul-Haq have said that a floodlight failure at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong midway through the Bangladesh chase played a significant role in deciding the final ODI.
Bangladesh were coasting at 61 for 1 chasing 178 when play was held up when the floodlights failed. After the interruption, Pakistan's spinners proved almost unplayable as Bangladesh collapsed to 119 all out to hand Pakistan a clean sweep.
"We were making runs in the last one or two overs (before the break) and a partnership was in the making," the Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur said. "A break always can make a difference. Obviously the batsmen need to settle down after every break. You have to adapt to the situation, but unfortunately we could not do this."
Misbah agreed that the blackout affected Bangladesh's rhythm and allowed Pakistan to reassess their strategy. "I think momentum was with Bangladesh at that time," he said. "The blackout broke the momentum and we reaped the benefit and got back in the game. We got time to think about our bowling during the break and came back strongly."
Mushfiqur didn't lay the entire blame for the defeat on the lapse in concentration after the break. "I have said already that technically we have some difficulties," he said. "But we were also mentally demoralised. When you see batsman score runs like Nasir [Hossain] and Shakib Al Hasan are doing for us, they play differently. You can see it in [Pakistan] as well, players like Misbah and [Umar] Akmal. But when you are not making runs, your shot selection goes wrong. Which is what happening for us."
Mushfiqur praised his bowlers for the job they did throughout the series, but said the batsmen have to learn to spend more time at the wicket. "Even the wicket was not very difficult today. Later on there was some dew which could have helped us, but we had some poor shot selections which got us out. I think we have to be a bit strong mentally and stay a bit more positive in our shot selection.
"We have to spent time on the wicket, if we can do that may be we will be able to realise the nature of wicket and build up an inning. It is not happening now."
Misbah backed up Mushfiqur's assessment, saying he thought Bangladesh had bowled "really well" but that their batting needed work. "They are struggling in the batting department, especially on a wicket like this it is really difficult for the batsmen if they are short of confidence. I think that's what is happening with them. I think they have to really improve their batting."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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