New Zealand U-19s v Bangladesh U-19s, Colombo, February 5 February 5, 2006

'We're struggling with the slower wickets' - Patel

Cricinfo staff
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Dipak Patel, the New Zealand U-19 coach, admitted his side is struggling to cope with playing spin in subcontinent conditions after he watched them slip to a three-wicket defeat against Bangladesh in their opening match at Colombo on Sunday.

"We are struggling on the slower wickets as our players are used to the ball coming on [to the bat] a bit more," he said. "We are learning a lesson of how to play in these conditions and we have got better and better in every match but it is a short tournament and we have got to put our thinking caps on to come up with some answers."

However, he was keen to stress that there were positives for his team to take into their next match - against Uganda on Tuesday - despite losing Sunday's game and the two prior warm-ups.

"Our bowling and fielding was outstanding defending a small total, it was 100 percent better than the warm-up games," he said. "Perhaps we could have won it but in the end they took their chances, played positively and overall they were the better side.

"Our destiny is in our own hands. We have got to beat Uganda well, beat Pakistan and then look at run-rates. We have not done ourselves a huge favour with this loss but there is good fighting spirit in the side and we will fight on."

Meanwhile, the Bangladesh coach Allister de Winter was delighted with his side's victory, while adding that it has somewhat relieved them of the pressure they are under.

"We have made a habit of trying to start tournaments well and so getting this win on the board was important," he said. "We were struggling, still needing 50 with just four wickets left, but a good partnership got us within 10 runs and it was a fighting result.

"It was a challenge batting for us in those conditions as the wicket had not been rolled yesterday [Saturday] because of the rain and after we slipped to 5-2 we needed some good partnerships," he said. "Extras is an area of concern for us (Bangladesh conceded 33, including 22 wides) and we need to get some consistency in our top six batting but our new ball bowlers bowled really well."