A series that started on a winning note ended in disappointment for Bangladesh, and coach Jamie Siddons blamed his batsmen for not being able to take advantage of the chances they had against New Zealand.
"We lost two opportunities. It's really very disappointing the way we let down the chances," Siddons said after Bangladesh's 79-run loss in the third ODI in Chittagong. "The batting was disciplined in the first ten overs but consistency is still a far cry for us and we should have found the solution." Bangladesh, who had chased down 202 in the first ODI in Mirpur, managed only 137 and 170 in reply to New Zealand's 212 and 249 in the subsequent games.
In Chittagong, Bangladesh slid from 49 for 1 to 59 for 5, after which victory was improbable. "We did the same in the second match when we lost crucial wickets and spurned a chance to win the series there," Siddons said. "[Ross] Taylor [who scored 103] showed how our batsmen should have batted [in Chittagong]."
Siddons said the experienced players in the team needed to play responsibly more consistently. "The wicket was fine though it was a little bit slow but it was unacceptable the way we batted in the match. Senior players should take the responsibility. Ash [Mohammad Ashraful] and Shakib Al Hasan failed to do their job. Shakib made the same mistake which is unacceptable." Shakib fell while trying a slog-sweep against the offspinner Jeetan Patel, only to get a top edge, while Ashraful failed to pull off a risky scoop to fine leg off a good-length delivery from Jacob Oram.
"Yes you can raise questions about my responsibility because I played a bad shot at the wrong time," Ashraful said. "I love to play this [scoop] shot but I could have played it later in my innings. I am really sorry for playing a bad shot." Ashraful was dismissed for 8, which followed scores of 60 not out and 40.
Despite chasing a stiff 250, Ashraful felt the target was gettable with the conditions in Chittagong more suited for batting than in the two low-scoring ODIs in Mirpur. "It was a good toss to lose and once again our bowlers did a tremendous job to restrict New Zealand for 249 runs," Ashraful said. "I think we have had a great chance to win the match after yet another impressive bowling and fielding in this kind of pitch and outfield but our other department [batting] continued their poor showing to let themselves down.
"I think the dismissals of Shakib and me were the turning point of the match because we couldn't capitalise on a good start."
For New Zealand, the loss in the first ODI ended their hopes of moving up to No. 2 in the ICC ODI rankings. The defeat in one game against the ninth-ranked Bangladesh saw them lose points despite winning the series, but they remain in fourth place. "We have come here to win the series, and we have done this, after starting disappointingly," Daniel Vettori, the New Zealand captain, said. "We would have loved to make it 3-0 but a win is a win."