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Bangladesh still haunted by World Cup collapse

Imrul Kayes is congratulated on reaching his hundred Getty Images

Bangladesh collapsed twice in Mirpur. With 39 runs needed to win from 52 balls, they lost their remaining six wickets for just 17 runs in the space of 6.3 overs. It cost them the match. But they could have secured victory much earlier had they also not dropped three catches and let three fall between fielders in the space of 18.4 overs.

Since batting takes centre stage in Bangladesh, the collapse will need to be discussed first. Whether you are in professional training or just playing with your cousins in your driveway or in the street, bowling comes a distant second and fielding is almost a formality. Against England at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, batting was going to be the king, the commander and the foot soldier that would take them to victory.

But once England broke the 118-run fifth-wicket stand between Shakib Al Hasan and Imrul Kayes, the slide set in. It was hard not to think it would, given how Bangladesh collapsed in their last three ODIs.

During the series against Afghanistan that ended this week, Bangladesh lost 7 for 62 (first ODI), 7 for 54 (second ODI) and 6 for 67 (third ODI). The spans varied between nine to more than 20 overs but whatever the timeline, as collapses usually do, they quickly put them under pressure from a position of strength and comfort.

Going back a little more, their inexplicable last-over collapse against India in the World T20 came to mind when they were giving it away in this England game. Would this game ever be forgotten? The tell-tale signs of a panicked dressing-room were certainly visible.

Mosaddek Hossain just wanted to defend the first ball wherever Jake Ball bowled, so his inside edge on to the stumps looked like a nervous poke. It is harsh to expect more calmness from someone playing his third ODI but he has been picked because he is good. Mashrafe Mortaza played a daft shot but by then the tail had already set in.

Bangladesh don't bat deep, and it was up to Imrul to take them home. He was tired and cramped so when he got stumped to a Rashid slider, with a century to his name, there was an excuse. But when he had just bludgeoned this bowling attack for the past three hours and 32 minutes, there would be much expectation from him to just see it through.

The match was over but Mosharraf Hossain, considered an allrounder, was still at the crease. But this is only his second international match after eight years so it was always going to be hard for him. But he was picked because he is good. When Taskin Ahmed edged Ball to the delighted England captain Jos Buttler, the stadium was half empty. Those in the stadium have seen this before, so they didn't want to see it again.

The captain, Mashrafe Mortaza, later said that they should have batted differently when they had the game in hand. But in the throes of a boundary spree, it was hard to ask Shakib to slow down. And he did have cramps in his hand, which could have prompted him to take a respite from the strike, which could have automatically slowed down the chase.

"We should have won this game," Mashrafe said. "We needed 39 runs from 52 balls with six wickets in hand at one stage, so the loss is disappointing. I think we could have tried to approach it differently. Maybe we could have batted slowly and go after the bowling with 15 to 16 needed in the last two overs.

"We cannot blame them but this is happening repeatedly. If we can come back from this, it will be become difficult for us. The dismissals told you there was a bit of panic. We could have played out 10 or 12 dot balls, but we got out trying to get the runs."

Mashrafe also said that batting in the last ten overs should have been easier in this chase because of how Bangladesh had brought the asking run rate down to under a run a ball when England were allowed only four fielders outside the circle. He said that managing to chase down 310 in this game would have boosted them for the rest of the ODI series.

"We should have batted more smoothly with five runs per over the asking rate. It is hard to explain what's happening [after the 40th over]. If the asking rate is 5 or 6 per over, it is easier in the last ten overs under the new Powerplay rules. But if it was 8 an over, then they have an extra fielder outside. They needed to keep an extra fielder inside the circle to stop the singles but we played some rash shots."

The chase could have been smaller by at least 20 runs, Mashrafe bemoaned, had they latched on to the catches offered after the 30th over. Instead, Ben Stokes and Ben Duckett ended up adding 153 runs for the fourth wicket, setting England up for their 300-plus total after they had slipped to 63 for 3.

"The fielding cost us. If we could have taken those catches, we could have stopped them from around 280-290 runs. The mindset would have been different. We don't bat on these wickets or chase 300 every day," he said.

Mahmudullah and Mosharraf dropped Stokes on 69 and 71 in successive overs before Mosharraf gave Duckett a chance on 59. Duckett was also fortunate twice more when shots fell between three fielders and just short of Taskin at backward square-leg. Right at the end, Mosaddek erroneously let one bounce inches in front of him thinking Tamim, pedalling back, would go for the catch.