Bangladesh v Pakistan, World T20 2016, Group 2, Kolkata March 16, 2016

Bowlers failed to deal with the pressure - Mashrafe


Mashrafe Mortaza admitted his bowlers could not stick to their plans against the early charge from Ahmed Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez © AFP

His team had impressed on seaming tracks in the Asia Cup, but Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said his side needed to adjust better to flat surfaces, following the 55-run loss to Pakistan in a World T20 match in Kolkata.

Bangladesh had conceded 201 for 5 against a Pakistan side they had restricted to 129 only two weeks prior. The difference, Mashrafe felt, was in the surface, which bore a covering of thin grass in patches, but offered little for the bowlers all evening.

"When we first saw the wicket it, was a bit grassy and we thought it would the help the bowlers, but our judgement was totally wrong," Mashrafe said. "In the Asia Cup, those surfaces were different. We saw there that Pakistan's bowling was confident, but there were doubts about the batting. This Eden surface - we thought that it would be to Pakistan's advantage because their bowling is already strong and this surface would favour their batsmen. The ball would come onto the bat."

Mashrafe laid the blame for the defeat largely at the feet of his bowlers, who were expensive from the outset. Pakistan had been 55 for 1 at the end of the Powerplay, and continued to score at around nine an over, until Shahid Afridi's innings put them on course for 200. Only part-timer Sabbir Rahman went at less than eight an over, delivering two overs for 11 runs.

"Ahmed Shehzad and Mohammad Hafeez took a lot of risks in those six overs and took the game away from our hands," Mashrafe said. "But we could have done a lot better. We couldn't deal with that pressure. Even if we had kept them to 160 or 170, on that wicket, we could have tried something. We couldn't stick to our plans. We couldn't play the way we needed to."

This loss now having left Bangladesh with a net run rate of -2.75, Mashrafe's team face a tough challenge in qualifying for the semi-finals. They play Australia in Bangalore next, on a track Mashrafe expects to be even better for batting than Eden Gardens was.

"We lost this match by 55 runs, it was a huge margin. We didn't want this heavy defeat. At least we managed to reduce the margin towards the end, with our batting," he said. "We will have to do better in the next match because I think the wickets will be even flatter than this, and Australia's batting will be much stronger. So there are obviously sterner challenges lying ahead for us.

"I think we have to get our mindset right. We need to regroup before that match. It's tough to predict how the group will play out but every match will be tough for sure."

Mashrafe said his team had missed its "best bowler" Mustafizur Rahman, but also said Mustafizur had been "close to playing".

"He would have made a difference today. It's tough to give you details of his fitness but I hope he'll be fit for the next match."

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Manik on March 19, 2016, 8:06 GMT

    BD need to give leggies more chances. Shabbir was doing fine. Even though he is part timer he should be given more overs if he shows he is doing well. Also when pacers fails Mahmudulla should also be tried. Next game Mustafizur may save BD. Lets see.

  • Mehdi hasan on March 18, 2016, 13:47 GMT

    in T20 always bowlers need to use their variation but if he can not control his deliveries like instead of giving yurker giving loose full toss then it is a problem , 4 over not many things can not be done but need to find a T20 type bowler who can bowl variation with intelligence, i always believe specially T20 domestic competition must be played at good sporting pitches or batting pitches. pitch at domestic competition are so vital . safe option always play in sporting pitches. it is also good to have a mix of fast and spinning and sporting wickets . while international cricket then home advantage must be used otherwise most of the time it should be sporting wickets with even bounce , young star will get their best . if in T20 BD want to shine must find suitable T20 bowler and depth over specialist. need more home work and more planning

  • Golam on March 18, 2016, 8:51 GMT

    BD Bowling was catastrophe & nothing worked that day ! Mustafizur must come , Mithun Ali has nothing to do with this team & Ronny must play !! BD should take a deep breath & rethink the hole process for the the remaining matches ! BD is not a Big hitting team & they should plan the game according ! In T20 matches bowlers use to win the game for a team & BD bowling must improve sharply if they have something to do with the WC !

  • Sumon on March 17, 2016, 17:38 GMT

    Bangladesh lost the game in the first innings. And it was not because of the pitch or condition or Afridi. It was because they kept bowling boundary balls. You can put the ball in a difficult line even on a flat pitch. You can use variation to put doubts in batsmen's mind. Bangladesh did none of those. When Afridi came to bat, Pakistan already took the game away from Bangladesh. He made it 100% sure, thats all. Does not matter. This Bangladeshi bowling lineup is capable of doing much better. Regroup and refocus I guess. And finally, Bangladesh only wins in Bangladesh because Bangladesh only plays in Bangladesh. One has to play abroad to win abroad. They did not do too bad in their last away tour, a.k.a. the ODI world cup.

  • Mehdi hasan on March 17, 2016, 17:33 GMT

    Bd batsman out of form due to BD's plan to play in bowling pitches for this format. shakib , mushfiq , soumya no one is in any sort of form. your best batsman Mushfiq is struggling , Mahmudullah is coming late .

  • Mehdi hasan on March 17, 2016, 16:55 GMT

    i believe BPL was not played on right pitches , T20 is a batsman game and most of the time in ICC t20 events it can be batting pitches, this al amin was successful on BPL where ball was moving a lot but here he does not have any clue, if BPL would play in batting pitch or at least quality sporting pitches then bowlers can learn how to use their variation , calm their nerve and BD would find right type of bowler for this format. Sunny , al amin is not a T20 specialist bowler. also Shakib was out of form, Mustafiz and Rubel was missing . even batsman does not know how to chase 160 plus score because they did not get enough opportunity to chase big score. In T20 sometime it is very difficult to do control bowling against big hitters of SA, WI , NZ, AUS. safe option is always play in sporting wicket , if your bowler is good enough in good batting pitches then he can be dangerous even on bowling pitches.

  • pranto on March 17, 2016, 13:20 GMT

    Yes I also agree with Omarnizam.Sabbir must open the batting with Tamim.Sommo must come out at one down.We saw some good knocks from him in the world cup in Australia at no 3.The batting order should be -1) tamim 2) Sabbir 3) somya 4) Sakib 5) Mahmudullah 6) Nurul Hasan 7) Nasir/Mithun 8)Mashrafi 9 )Arafat sunny 10) Taskin 11) Mustafizur Rahman.Hopefully we find some good strong hitter in middle order in place of mushfiqur in the next year or so.Mashrafi should step down from the captaincy and retire as soon as possible after this T20 WC from both T20s and odis.He should not block the place of some young bowlers in the future.

  •   Masood Ahmad on March 17, 2016, 12:42 GMT

    The only way to beat Pakistan is to get them out under 130. Otherwise their bowling is just too good for Bangladesh. Yesterday Bangladesh were not bowled out, rather they just couldn't do anything against quality bowling. Heroes like Mushfiq and Shakib were unable to score at 10 an over against a quality attack.

  • syed on March 17, 2016, 11:46 GMT

    Agree with Omarnizam - Sabbir should open with Tamim, which will also give right and left hand combination. Soumya seems to be unable to move his feet against the fast bowling, so he should come at number 4/5 and mahmudullah at no.3. The batting order should be like this - Openers - Sabbir , Tamim. 3. Mahmudullah 4. Soumya 5. Shakib 6. Mushfiqur 7. Nasir

  • Omar on March 17, 2016, 9:10 GMT

    The Bangladesh team's batting order is incorrect. Sabbir Rahman must open the batting (with Tamim) because he can rotate strike hit big.

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