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'We were too careful' - Bashar

The euphoria of qualification is beginning to wear a little thin for Bangladesh after two thumping defeats in three days against Australia and New Zealand, but their captain, Habibul Bashar, refuses to be downcast despite having the challenge of competing in the Super Eights spelt out in no uncertain terms.

"It is a little bit frustrating, but I still believe in my players," said Bashar, whose batsmen have twice been to blame for failing to post defendable totals. "They have shown they have the talent and the capabilities to get top runs, but we need to work harder - we have given wickets away really."

After an over-aggressive display against Australia on Saturday, Bangladesh were this time guilty of forsaking their natural game. With the dogged Javed Omar recalled in place of Shahriar Nafees, a more watchful approach was taken by the top order, but none of the first four batsman managed more than Tamim Iqbal's 29.

"If one of them could bat for 30 to 40 overs we can put some good runs on the board," said Bashar. "The team plan is not to lose too many early wickets to the new ball, which means we need to be careful, but I think maybe we were a little bit too careful. We need to do something in between - either we're hitting too much, or blocking too much."

Though Bangladesh beat New Zealand by two wickets in a warm-up match before the World Cup, Stephen Fleming, New Zealand's captain, felt that the experience had actually been beneficial for his side. Today he went out of his way to make life uncomfortable for his opponents at every turn - starting with his decision to bowl first at the toss.

"Part of the reason we bowled first is we are not convinced they can set a score as well as they can chase," said Fleming. "That was evident in some of the shots they played and the pressure we created. There wasn't a lot in the pitch so to restrict a team to 170 was where the game was won."

"We love to bat second but we can't use it as an excuse," added Bashar. "Good teams have to be able to play well even when they lose the toss. In the warm-up match everything went according to plan, but you can't expect that. We need to learn what to do when it doesn't. It was a good wicket, and I thought we could set a total."

Given the right conditions and a chance to exert some mid-innings pressure after winning the toss, Bangladesh's spinners could yet have a significant role in this section of the tournament. But for today they were no match for Fleming's scything blade, as New Zealand sped to a victory that will do wonders for their net run-rate.

"It's about getting into a position of strength, and then you can stamp some dominance," said Fleming. "If you lose two or three early wickets to them, if they get a sniff, they are very good at shutting you down and making you take a risk. But if you do the hard work [their attack] does become a little similar, and you can get after it. We were just looking at every opportunity to get across the line as quickly as possible because in the long run it could be very important in deciding on fourth and fifth spot."

Bangladesh's introduction to the Super Eights has been torrid, and it is not about to get easier, seeing their next opponents are another of the favourites for the semis, South Africa. "We need a good show in our next game to get our confidence back up because we are a little bit down," said Bashar. "But we still believe we can come back from here, and come back strongly for the next game. Our goal is not to repeat the mistakes we have made so far."