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April 24, 2006
Habibul Bashar, the Bangladesh captain, believes that losing quick wickets at the top, which deprived Bangladesh of some valuable runs, made the difference between victory and defeat in the first one-dayer against Australia at Chittagong.
"Against the new ball we lost too many wickets when we batted and gave away too many runs when bowled," Bashar said. "Losing four wickets in 10 overs creates pressure and one could never guess what a good total is on this track. In the morning, we thought 260-270 would be a good total on this wicket but we found later that even 230 might have been interesting."
Abdur Razzak, who took 3 for 36, and Mohammad Rafique, who conceded a miserly 14 runs in ten overs, spun Bangladesh back into the game and earned their captain's praise. "We came back strongly because of the two spinners' brilliant efforts," Bashar said. "Razzak was successful but Rafique also did an excellent job, proving that a few more runs would have been defendable."
Dav Whatmore, Bangladesh's coach, also blamed the failure of the top order for the loss. "There are three stroke-makers in the top order but unfortunately, we missed their services," he said. "But I think we played some good one-day cricket in between 20 to 40 overs as we worked on singles and two's to recover from the damage. At one stage we were in a good position at 170 in 40 overs but we did not have enough quality wickets in hand for the last ten overs.
"We had three overs to spare and it would have been nice if we could complete the full quota. The spinners did a very good job and picked up some wickets, which is really good for us."
Whatmore informed that Alok Kapali, who was injured during the morning's light warm-up session, was recovering well and would be fit for the next game. "It was a very unusual and freakish accident that left him [Kapali] with three stitches on his lip," he said. "It was a bit of a shake for him but he should be okay. He is very much in our plans for the future."
Adam Gilchrist credited Bangladesh for being competitive and believes Australia have learnt some lessons from this game. "All credits to Bangladesh as they stretched us. They pushed us in the first Test and now ensured some nervy time in the first one-dayer," said Gilchrist who blasted a 46-ball 76.
"We have learnt a very good lesson in the match like first Test which I think definitely will work on the next two games in Dhaka. Looked like it was the kind of wicket where you had to get the runs against the new ball while it was shiny and hard and coming on to the bat. Fortunately Simon [Katich] and I were able to get the team off to a flying start. Bangladesh fought really well and we are becoming accustomed to that."
Meanwhile, Ricky Ponting believed that the toss would prove crucial in the forthcoming matches as chasing will prove to be difficult. "As this series goes on, it would be pretty hard to chase runs. So hopefully, I'll win a few tosses.
"I think I said this morning during the toss that it would spin a bit as the game went on and it turned out that way. Their spinners bowled very well in the middle after Adam [Gilchrist] had got us off to a flying start. They stayed in the game and competed very well. Luckily we had [Michael] Hussey and a few good tailenders to bat us across the line. It might have been a different game if we didn't have such a start."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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