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Collapse was unexpected on flat wicket - Mashrafe

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza has said he had hopes from some of the senior batsmen to take their innings close to the 252 target

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Sabbir Rahman gets some hang time while avoiding a short ball, New Zealand v Bangladesh, 2nd ODI, Nelson, December 29, 2016

Sabbir Rahman scored a handy 38 before his wicket started a collapse  •  Getty Images

Mashrafe Mortaza was left almost speechless after he saw Bangladesh's fifth batting meltdown of the year. The latest one, losing seven wickets for 56 runs in 14 overs, resulted in their 67-run loss to concede the series to New Zealand.
Chasing 252, Sabbir Rahman's run-out in the 23rd over ended his 75-run second-wicket stand with Imrul Kayes, before Lockie Ferguson's yorker left Mahmudullah with little time to bring his bat down in time. The next three of the four wickets fell to the part-time offspin of New Zealand captain Kane Williamson; Shakib sliced a catch to short third man, Mosaddek handed one straight to mid-off and Tanbir Hayder was stumped.
Mashrafe said that set batsmen like Kayes and Sabbir should have carried the innings more towards the target, but there was still hope with Shakib starting to get settled before he fell for 7.
"Teams from the subcontinent who tour New Zealand look for the sort of opportunities that we got today," Mashrafe said. "In the first game we were in the game even though we had given away 40 runs too many. Today the batting collapse was unexpected because we were showing how flat the wicket was. We have let go of a big chance, and had we taken it, we could have played the next match comfortably.
"Even after the run-out we had some of our successful players in the middle. But they couldn't click today. I wouldn't say we gifted them the wickets. I think we were hurrying to score runs but I think the batsmen can give you a better explanation. I think we could have been a lot more patient, especially after Imrul and Sabbir were getting into a flow. So there was a case of settling down again after spending a bit of time in the middle."
The same theme had unfolded recently in October when Bangladesh, placed comfortably at 271 for 4 chasing 310 against England in the first ODI, lost their last six wickets in 38 balls to fold for 288.
Nine days earlier, Bangladesh had slipped from 138 for 4 to be bowled out for 208 in the second ODI against Afghanistan, who won the game by two wickets. In the first and third ODIs too, Bangladesh collapsed from positions of strength even though they ended up winning both games.
These five collapses could be seen as a bug in the system that was first installed during the World T20 game against India in Bangalore, when needing two runs off the last three balls, they ended up losing by one run. The stink from that chase gone wrong still seems to be pervading the Bangladesh dressing room.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84