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Siddons disgusted with 'ridiculous' effort

Raqibul Hasan is cleaned up by Kyle McCallan Associated Press

Bangladesh committed exactly the errors they knew they needed to avoid - the same mistakes they committed against India - and lost their must-win match against Ireland. The chaotic batting prompted a withering assessment from an incensed coach Jamie Siddons, who, with captain Mohammad Ashraful alongside him, called it a "ridiculous" effort.

Siddons insisted after the loss to India that Bangladesh's players were not lacking in skill anymore but were being undone by faulty decision-making while batting. Similar errors against Ireland, he warned, would be dangerous. His advice went unheeded - too many Bangladesh batsmen fell because of poor shot selection.

Junaid Siddique, who began with two consecutive fours, skied a catch towards square leg. The captain Mohammad Ashraful offered a catch to first slip after being dropped at that position in the previous over. Shakib Al Hasan went for the big shot but failed to clear deep midwicket. His dismissal particularly disappointed Siddons who said the allrounder had been out "five times this tour" to the "same shot, same spot". Tamim Iqbal, who was batting fluently, was run out needlessly. Bangladesh lost five wickets inside the first ten overs and were restricted to 137, their lowest total since they arrived in England, warm-ups included.

The carelessness of their approach was perhaps best characterised by a shot Mushfiqur Rahim played in the 13th over. Bangladesh were struggling on 69 for 5 and Mushfiqur slogged the ball high in the air over midwicket. He was let off only because Trent Johnston couldn't get to the ball quickly enough, running backwards from inside the circle though the fielder on the boundary line, Boyd Rankin, should have probably called for it. It was precisely the sort of decision that led to Siddons publicly criticising his players during the post-match press conference.

"There's nothing we can do if they're going to keep making mental errors like that, the same mistakes over and over," Siddons said, while Ashraful was seated by his side. "We train for it, we talk about it, we do everything we can. Even Ash [Ashraful] made the same mistake. He hit the ball to the bloke the over before and went and did it again, saying 'catch me this time'. Five, six, maybe seven batsmen got out to ridiculous shots.

"We didn't make anywhere near enough runs, the par score there against any attack is 170. It's a flat wicket, fast outfield, a short boundary to one side. We had a reasonable start, we were 40 or 50 off the first six and from there 160 is [possible] if you bat sensibly to a plan, but if the boys just keep disobeying the plan you end up with a shitty little score like 130. I'm borderline disappointed and angry. I'm not sure which way to treat them when I speak to them in a minute."

The plan, as Ashraful revealed after the match, was for Bangladesh to try and score 60 during the Powerplay with their top-order batsmen - Tamim, Junaid and Ashraful - going after the bowling. If around two wickets fell, the plan was to try and score 60 off the next nine without loss. All the strategizing came to nothing as wickets fell in quick succession.

"Our boys, they get it their way a lot, they don't tend to listen too well. It's time some pressure is put on them to listen," Siddons said. "From the captain down, if they don't want to listen, well we've got to move on. They need to listen right from getting to the bus on time; you know they do it their own way a bit. We've come a long long way but we need to come a lot further."

Ashraful called it the "worst match they played on tour" and without a doubt it was. Bangladesh had a terrific opportunity to make the Super Eights, needing to beat only Ireland. On the day, however, the Associate's players kept their heads and sent the Full Member crashing out of the tournament.