'Batsmen gave it away' - Chigumbura

Elton Chigumbura plays a leg-side whip AFP

Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura said he felt that a target of 242 was possible to chase but pointed towards key dismissals that ended up costing his side heavily. They were bowled out for 183 in 43.2 overs after doing well enough to restrict the home side.

But the batting was disappointing as they lost wickets in clusters at the start and when they were starting to get hold of the chase. The last four wickets then fell for just eight runs in the space of 13 deliveries.

"I think it was a chaseable score," Chigumbura said. "We lost the first three wickets inside the first ten overs. However, we consolidated well but unfortunately that run out before my partnership with Raza was important. The batsmen including myself gave it away."

Zimbabwe's big advantage going into this game was the absence of Shakib Al Hasan, who left on Sunday night to be with his wife as she gave birth to their daughter in the USA. Bangladesh had to make up for the loss, and the absence of a bowler who had just taken five wickets in the previous game must have given Zimbabwe confidence. However, Chigumbura played down their lack of initiative at Shakib's absence.

"Obviously Shakib is a world-class player but we play against the Bangladesh team, not only against Shakib," he said. "He couldn't play this game but, Shakib aside, I think today the way we went out there and the way we bowled gave us a big chance to win."

He felt that if he and Sikandar Raza had batted together for five more overs, "things would have been different". Chigumbura and Raza added 73 runs for the fifth wicket, in a stand that was starting to give the visitors hope after they had slipped to 78 for 4 in the 21st over.

"I think when I was batting alongside Raza and if we could have batted another five overs things would have been different," he said. "We had to have two or three batsmen who can take the team to the finishing line and it was me and Raza. Obviously it was a game to win, it was the most important game for us to level the series."

Chigumbura also defended his batting line-up, which effectively ended with Malcolm Waller at No. 7. "I think the balance is right," he said. "You just have to make sure the guys are playing in their role in the team. We have quite a few bowlers in the side and we did not require his [Waller's] bowling.

"So it's not about him bowling and putting up his end playing a role at No 7. Every guy has a big role in the team. But I think that's where we are getting it wrong. Hopefully, day after tomorrow we can put things together."

He said his batsmen needed to not get bogged down and get past difficult moments, but he felt that they will only get better at this by playing more cricket.

"I think you need to spend time in the middle and adjust to the wicket so obviously you need to make sure to stay out there," he said. "No need to block down. Those periods will come and go, so just have to make sure to sustain those difficult times as the more you play there, the easier it becomes. I think that's my message to the batsmen."