Pollard says batsmen gifted wickets

Chris Gayle was out for 35 Associated Press

The West Indies batsmen gifted their wickets to Bangladesh's bowlers, according to allrounder Kieron Pollard, who said their seven-wicket defeat in the first ODI in Khulna was a "bad day" and nothing more. After dominating the Test series, the visiting batsmen were rolled for 199 in 46.5 overs, despite the pre-match expectation that the big-hitters in the West Indies line-up would make life hard for the hosts.

"It was mostly a bad day," Pollard said. "They weren't bowling anything magical. We gifted our wickets away. I think we have to blame ourselves for the way we batted. At the end of the day, we can't look for excuses. The batsmen have to bat 50 overs, and not let the tail bat for 10 to 15 overs, like they had to do today. Now we know that when we play bad, Bangladesh will take the initiative."

West Indies had chosen to bat, the logical decision on a flat and slow pitch. But Lendl Simmons' scratchy innings was over quickly, and Chris Gayle gave it away after making 35 off 40 balls, when he looked set for more. The major breakthrough for Bangladesh came in the 14th over, when Sohag Gazi drew the in-form Marlon Samuels into an early drive. The ball took the edge and was caught on the second attempt by Mahmudullah at slip. Samuels had made 260 in the Khulna Test but was dismissed for a duck today.

"We had a very good start with Lendl [Simmons] and Chris [Gayle]. We were on just where we liked to be after 10 overs," Pollard said. "Then we lost wickets in clusters, we lost Gayle and Samuels. But having said that, the other guys are here to play and did well before. It is a matter of us taking that extra time, that extra over or two, to continue what we have been doing."

After Samuels' dismissal, Pollard and Darren Bravo added 52 runs for the fourth wicket before Pollard threw his bat at a short ball from Abdur Razzak, only to be caught at short midwicket. His departure in the 23rd over, with West Indies on 100 for 4, caused the rest of the innings to disintegrate. Pollard was disappointed, but promised to treat the delivery the same way the next time it is bowled at him.

"It was an innings that was needed today, because we had lost three wickets," Pollard said. "That ball, nine out of ten times, you'd hit it out of the ground, to the boundary. Little extra bounce, hit it straight to the fieldsman.

"It is a soft dismissal. But that's the way it is, I was just trying to play to the situation. If I get the same ball tomorrow, I will try to play the same shot as well. This time it will go to Dhaka."

Pollard praised Bangladesh for their performance without Shakib Al Hasan. "One guy missing is a big gap in the Bangladesh team but they played well. Whatever happened in the Test series is in the past, we didn't turn up as we would have liked to in this game. There are four more games to go, so it is a matter of us regrouping as international cricketers."