Bangladesh v West Indies, 3rd ODI, Mirpur December 5, 2012

We were short by 20-25 runs - Mahmudullah

Bangladesh's vice-captain Mahmudullah said that his team was 20 runs short of forcing a series win against West Indies

Bangladesh's vice-captain Mahmudullah believes that his team was 20 runs short of forcing a series win against West Indies. Coming into this game - the third of a five-match series - Bangladesh were 2-0 up. They went on to be bowled out for 227 in Mirpur, and were then unable to find a stand-out bowler who could bowl them to victory.

After Bangladesh's linchpin Shakib Al Hasan had been ruled out of the series with a shin injury, West Indies might have rolled them over. Yet, the home team had managed to take the lead, that too with a win by a record margin (in the second match) to their credit. Now, when they needed a special knock at a crucial juncture of the five-match series though, no one could reproduce a Shakib special - for example, his century against New Zealand that helped Bangladesh clinch that ODI series in late 2010, or the 92 against Sri Lanka that took Bangladesh to a tournament final, or the quick 65 against West Indies to clinch the 2009 series.

"I think we were short by 20-25 runs," Mahmudullah said at the end of the game. "But still had we bowled better, we could have had a different result today. We should have taken more wickets at the top too.

"There was some bounce in the pitch early on, but our openers gave us a start. We lost wickets in the middle order quickly, so we couldn't recover from that. When I was batting with Mushfiqur [Rahim], our target was a total of around 235 to 240. We had decided to take it easy in the batting Powerplay, but we couldn't do it."

The runs that were needed never came as the hosts had to recover from tricky positions twice when they batted. The first was when they slipped from 61 for 1 to 78 for 4 in the space of five overs. Another wicket five overs later made the job harder for Bangladesh, but a 58-run sixth wicket stand between captain Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah took some pressure off. After Mushfiqur and Mashrafe Mortaza fell, Mahmudullah and Sohag Gazi added 39 runs for the eighth wicket, taking the total past the 200-run mark.

Chris Gayle's early dismissal in the chase was a boost but Bangladesh seemed somewhat surprised to see Marlon Samuels bat up the order at No. 3. He was involved in a century second-wicket stand that helped the visitors lay a solid foundation for their chase, and left the home side way behind in the contest.

"There was help for the bowlers in both innings, but if we could have taken more wickets at the top, they would have been under huge pressure. But we couldn't do it today," Mahmudullah said.

When the game drew towards a tight finish, with West Indies losing quick wickets, Bangladesh seemed to miss having more solid bowling options. Mahmudullah bowled nine overs and Naeem was used for five from the other end. Mushfiqur, towards the close, had to use Mominul Haque's part-time left-arm spin, which was effective, but was never in the class of the man he had replaced in the squad. With Gazi and Abdur Razzak already troubling West Indies, another attacking option - like Shakib - would have come in handy. Instead, Mushfiqur had to be cautious when rotating his main bowlers.

Despite that void left by Shakib, however, the bowlers did a commendable job, making West Indies fight right till the end. And while batting, had Mahmudullah batted till the final over instead of the 46th, Bangladesh could have had a bigger score to defend. The next two games will also be played without Shakib, so Bangladesh will have to rely on other senior players in the dressing room to perform when there is everything to lose.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on December 6, 2012, 6:19 GMT

    Yes, both Mahmudullah and Captain should play with more responsibility. After a fall of wicket BD released the pressure by giving wides in boundaries, couldn't take the catches at the slips. Forget Shakib, each and every person should play with more responsibility. Whatever be the outcome of this series, I hope Bangladesh would analyze each game. When a team is 5 down, Captain can't afford to play such low percentage shot. Samuels was dropeed probably on 2 or 3 occasions. I hope Bangladesh gets mentally tougher.... "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. "

  • Dummy4 on December 6, 2012, 4:42 GMT

    I have no doubt that WI played well and BD fought hard.

    Here are the three things what could be different:

    1. BD misread the pitch. They had 280-290 in mind. Otherwise they could get around 250. This could be crucial.

    2. Spinners bowled too many short balls. In fact hardly any good length delivery from spinners went for boundaries. This too often released pressure.

    3. I don't know why on earth Rubel was bowling in final 10 overs. Spinners were doing so well with Razzaq got one in the final. Batsmen could hardly play good length deliveries.

  • Dummy4 on December 5, 2012, 22:23 GMT

    Honestly! we should've won that game even without the worlds best ODI all-rounder because we had West Indies where we wanted on a few occasions especially towards the end where for some reason Rahim the captain decided to go with Rubel and conceded some 20+ plus runs effectively sealing the game for West Indies. A captain error I should say and a few I'm sorry to say from him. Take nothing away from Marlon Samuels that was a fantastic innings in very difficult conditions coming under pressure and the ball turning all the way through this innings. Bangladesh's batting cost them and it was clearly inexperience where the young Haques just over did it a bit throwing their wickets away. Tamim Iqbal knowing that Shakib wouldn't be playing should've taken more responsibility very sad to see him bat like this. Despite this win, I still think Bangladesh will be good enough to seal this series come Friday or Saturday.

  • Sajedur on December 5, 2012, 21:18 GMT

    Any close match like this, Shakib's abscence will be greatly missed. He could've made a huge difference in a close game like this one. I hope BD wins at least one toss. The toss is mighty important in a day-night match in Dhaka as dew is playing a big factor.

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