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October 27, 2009
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan has criticised the limp top-order batting after the defeat in the first one-dayer against Zimbabwe in Mirpur but was confident of bouncing back to win the five-match series.
None of the top five Bangladesh batsmen crossed 20, and at one stage the home side were tottering at 62 for 6 before Mushfiqur Rahim's 56 helped them post a decent total. "We made too many mistakes," Shakib said. "The batsmen, myself included, needed to stay at the wicket. Too many wickets were lost in the early part of the innings and we never recovered."
Bangladesh have dominated encounters with Zimbabwe over the past few years, and were heavy favourites coming into the series. Shakib felt his side was still good enough to live up to their billing and take out the next four matches. "This is a nice wake-up call. I definitely feel that 4-1 is possible from here if we don't repeat the errors in this game. We are a better team than they are."
Despite Mushfiqur's efforts, Bangladesh could only make 183 which Shakib felt was at least 50 runs short of what they should have put up. "I will not say it was a 280 wicket. It is not a 180 wicket either. Something like 230-240 could have been very handy."
The home side pulled things back early in the chase with Abdur Razzak's triple-strike, and snared two more to have Zimbabwe in some trouble at 90 for 5. But Man-of-the-Match Elton Chigumbura and Stuart Matsikenyeri piled on an unbroken 99-run stand to confirm the defeat. "Once we had them five down we felt we had a genuine chance," Shakib said. "Another wicket at that point and we would have been into the tail and [Prosper] Utseya might not have batted."
Hamilton Masakadza, the Zimbabwe vice-captain, though said there were no nerves despite the loss of three quick wickets. "We were already 54 at that stage and when you are chasing a low score on that wicket we just knew that one good partnership would clinch it for us."
The one downer on a victorious day for Zimbabwe was the ankle injury to their captain Utseya, the seriousness of which was yet to be diagnosed. "He has a sprained left ankle and it doesn't look too good at the moment," Masakadza said. "We'll see how he goes tomorrow."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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