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Shakib rues Bangladesh's 'very poor batting display'

"On a wicket like this, we shouldn't lose four wickets in the first ten overs"

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan lamented his side's poor powerplay with the bat as they suffered a seven-wicket loss against Pakistan in the Asia Cup Super Four opener. After winning the toss and batting first, Bangladesh slipped to 47 for 4 in the tenth over, allowing the home side to dictate terms from an early stage.
Mehidy Hasan Miraz, who made his second ODI century against Afghanistan in the previous game, fell for a first-ball duck in the second over, before Shaheen Shah Afridi got one to rear at the returning Litton Das in the fifth to have him caught behind. Mohammad Naim skied a pull off Haris Rauf, who took the return catch before bursting one through Towhid Hridoy in the tenth over.
Shakib and Mushfiqur Rahim put together a 100-run fifth-wicket stand that helped them recover somewhat, but that work was undone as they lost their last four wickets in nine balls, starting with the fall of Mushfiqur in the 38th over.
Shakib said that the fifth-wicket stand should have lasted a bit longer but kept an eye on the broader picture as he reflected on their "hot-and-cold" batting unit.
"We lost early wickets in the start, and we played some ordinary shots," Shakib said after the match. "On a wicket like this, we shouldn't lose four wickets in the first ten overs but it happens. Our partnership [for the fifth wicket] was good, [I] thought we needed to bat seven or eight more overs. Very poor batting display on a surface like this, but we have to move on to the next one.
"They are the No. 1 team and these are the reasons. They have three world-class bowlers who are making things easier for them. We have been doing well in the bowling department, but batting is a bit hot and cold. We need to be more consistent."
Bangladesh's assistant coach Nic Pothas later said that the batters had to make better decisions in their shot selection. "As a batting unit, we didn't make the right decisions at the right time in these conditions," Pothas said. "It was always going to be a challenge for a team in transition. You want to try to put a score on the board when you win the toss and bat first. You are also talking about an elite bowling attack. I think the options we took made life easy for that seam attack.
"Ideally, we would have liked to bat a lot deeper than that and get a score on the board. But that's the nature of playing against top-seam attacks. We need to improve but if it was that easy, everybody would be doing it."
Pothas said it was good that Bangladesh's batters faced Pakistan's bowlers at least once before the World Cup. The two teams have hardly played any ODI cricket against each other in recent years. Their last bilateral ODI series was in 2015, when Bangladesh won 3-0 at home.
"We haven't played a lot against Pakistan," Pothas said. "They are high on confidence at the moment. They are No. 1 in the world. They played like the best team in the world. But they played in their home conditions. They know how to play at this ground better than anybody. But this added experience makes our batters better."
Shakib, meanwhile, praised the Bangladesh fast bowlers for their continued good showing at the highest level. Since the 2019 ODI World Cup, Bangladesh's fast bowlers were second only to Pakistan's in terms of average and strike rate among the Full Member nations.
"I thought our three seamers bowled brilliantly," Shakib said. "Like Pakistan, our seamers have been bowling very well in the last couple of years. But, unfortunately, on a pitch like this, you can't get wickets unless batters make mistakes."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84