ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features

Bangladesh v South Africa, Group B, World Cup 2011, Mirpur

Everything was a weakness for Bangladesh

Shakib Al Hasan couldn't identify any specific areas of concern after the abject defeat to South Africa because today they struggled in all facets of the game

Firdose Moonda in Mirpur

March 19, 2011

Comments: 29 | Text size: A | A

A devastated Shakib Al Hasan has said his team's performance against South Africa was so poor that he couldn't identify any specific areas of concern. Bangladesh were bowled out for 78, the third lowest total of the tournament, and Shakib could not explain how they fell so far short of the 285 run target.

"When you score 180 or 200 you can find those mistakes [that explain why you didn't win]," he said. "But when you are bowled out for 70 or 80, I don't know how you can find those weaknesses. They are all weaknesses."

It was a stark admission, but an accurate one. Everything was a weakness. Bangladesh's demise in this match, although it was played out with the bat, was orchestrated with the ball. "Our fast bowlers let us down today," Shakib said. They simply gave away too many runs. Before the match, Shakib said that apart from the opening game, which was played on a different type of wicket, scoring 250 on this surface was a rarity. He knew that it would take a sterling effort with the bat or a feeble one with the ball to allow a first innings total in excess of 250 to be reached.

"We thought they had scored 20 runs more," Shakib said, indicating that a target of 265 would have been more acceptable. Had Bangladesh fielded better, they may have found themselves chasing even less as Graeme Smith said that South Africa though 250 was a reasonable total. Instead, balls snuck in between hands and through legs, they weren't hunted down to the boundary as much they were ambled after, and the throws coming in from the outfield were more limp and wayward than strong and purposeful.

Shakib Al Hasan walks off dejectedly after scoring 30, Bangladesh v South Africa, Group B, World Cup 2011, Mirpur, March 19, 2011
Shakib Al Hasan is crestfallen after Bangladesh failed to qualify for the knockout stage of the World Cup © Associated Press

While Bangladesh have never been a side known for their fielding prowess, in a match this important they should have put extra effort into the things they can control - things like getting to the ball quickly and keeping the run leakage to a minimum. There were moments of commitment, when fielders in the inner ring pounced like tigers, but those were undone by the number of times an extra few runs were conceded because of a fumble on the rope or a lapse in concentration when a clean pick up would have done the trick.

It might be an area of their game they are going to work on or it might be an area of their game that was neglected because of circumstance, the reality of playing in a do-or-die situation. Shakib said that the enormity of the task at hand took its toll and that the ability of the side, which were so determined in another must win match against England, have not changed overnight. "Maybe pressure got to everyone. Maybe the expectation was high and we couldn't handle it. The skill levels are still the same. "

It was exactly those skills, which have shown so much improvement in recent times, that had earned Bangladesh the label of being a decent pick for the second round and created the expectation in the first place. With the progress they had made, the team themselves had ambitions of getting to the knockouts and Shakib said there is massive disappointment that they haven't. "Before the tournament we believed that we will qualify for the second round. That was the plan, especially in the home conditions."

Having built a strong base at home, Shakib knows that he will have to spend the next few days, and even months, giving answers for his team's shortcomings. He seems to have mastered the way he should do that with regards to this tournament. No excuses, no asking for forgiveness, no justifying, just plainly stating what is glaringly obvious - that in the moments that mattered, Bangladesh didn't turn up. He understands that his team will have an enormous debt to repay to those who believed in them from ball one. "They [the fan] deserve more; we didn't play well at all. The way we were performing for the last 12 months, they were expecting us to do better than we did," he said, and then came the clincher, "but we couldn't."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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Comments: 29 
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Posted by flying on (March 21, 2011, 5:12 GMT)

Playing in home still cant move 2 secondround after playing so many matches this shows wat bd team is capable of??if the worldcup was in australia or southafrica thn we would have seen bd scoring 15 0r 25 runs(team score)in the matches coz there batsman cant play in those pitches and conitions....

Posted by flying on (March 21, 2011, 5:08 GMT)

Shakib got it wrong.........no point in blaming the bowlers?actually batting let them down ....no matchwinners r there (tamim and shakib are mediocre batsmen)bd is the most inconsistant team......too much of hype from there fans ......but the fact is still they are a minnow team...

Posted by James on (March 21, 2011, 5:02 GMT)

This is the closest the Bdesh can come in next few years to a wcup qfinal. In the next couple of cups outside the subcontinent (or even outside their home pitches), they would be easy fodder for most teams. They may have a tough time matching teams like Ireland, Zimbabwe, Afganistan.

Posted by ataur on (March 21, 2011, 4:36 GMT)

The main problem in our Alrounder Bangladesh have to work only for allrounder.Sakib AND Tamim are good batsman for small country,or small match like Zimbabue, Kaneya, Ireland , and New Zeland. But not good for big match or big event. Sakib is a captain why he never support our great players like Aftab, Ashraful , Alok who are middle order and allrounder. You guys see Tamim, Imrul, Zunied, Shahrier Nafees all are oppening batsman Why play all in one match? Please work for our middle order and allrounder in Australia matchs. And most important please look Alternative Wicket keeping Batsman, never depend on Mushfiq , he already played lot of matches but nothing special.

Posted by Mradul on (March 20, 2011, 22:48 GMT)

Out of all 12 teams BD has the 2nd lowest aggregate runs (all 6 matches combined), only higher than Kenya. Also, BD was the only Test playing team with a negative NRR. I wud like to say to Shakib that it was not the belief that was wrong, it was the over confidence of doing well which took them down. If you have noticed none of the top teams made any such claims before the WC started that they will easily make it to QF and also like we are expected to beat WI easily. Thats overconfidence and also sounding bullish. After defeat against India BD players reacted as if a major upset has been caused and as if beating India shud have been easy for them. You need to work on this attitude of yours.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 20, 2011, 17:18 GMT)

The west Indies game came to haunt Bangladesh,A dream that went up and down from feb 19 th to Mar 19th .The fans and the cricketers ,who used the stats the rankings etc to justify their performance as well as the pressure of performing at home killed the chances.Hope they paly in 2015 as only top 8 teams will qualify directly as the talk is going on

Posted by Nikhil on (March 20, 2011, 14:15 GMT)

Feel bad for him, he performed consistently, but Tamim was the biggest disappointment, he didn't click once, was quite throughout the tournament.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 20, 2011, 10:08 GMT)

Indeed Bangladesh had a poor show against South Africa and West Indies. But we still love our team and we still believe that "we shall overcome someday". Keep going boys and 1 day the world will stare at you in utmost disbelief. Love you Shakib and Co.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 20, 2011, 8:55 GMT)

The whole Nation is wid u shakib .. it was just another bad day for da tigerss but hey cheer up whe hv beat da irish English n dutch tooo.. it was jus 2 bad games of poor batting dislay cost us da game.. it wud hv been a different story if bangldesh runrate was becoz of poor batting display against west indies & southafrica cos us da game.. caz far far behind runrate neways good 2 ma tigers for next upcoming series against da aussie its pay bck time.. Beware aussies... u r next like what whe did 2 da kiwis............

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 20, 2011, 4:58 GMT)

Dnt wrry Shakib da whole nations is wid u .. it was jus our bad lck whe played poorly but who cares whe hv beaten da irish n da english n den atlast it was dutch who was our victim as well according to stats whe had a gud world cup so far it was bad whe didnt qualify whe batted poorly against da westindies plus southafrica as well so dats y whe far far behind run rate had whe batted gud against westindies n southafrica it wud hv been different scenario anyways good luck to my bd tigers for da upcoming oneday series against aussie i want a gr8 game frm bd tigers its a pay back time .....

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