Mahmudullah shrugs off New Zealand loss, upbeat about Bangladesh’s T20 World Cup chances

Mahmudullah is disappointed. The Bangladesh captain saw deficiencies with both bat and ball in the Tigers’ final international game ahead of the T20 World Cup. But he still believes the team will be able to address those issues and blaze a victorious path in the showcase event of the game's shortest format.

Published : 10 Sept 2021, 07:24 PM
Updated : 10 Sept 2021, 07:24 PM

The Tigers lost to the Black Caps by 27 runs in the fifth and final T20 match of the series at Mirpur’s Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Friday. After the match, the captain spoke of mistakes at bat and in the field.

“I believe that New Zealand batted well. They put up a good score. But we did not chase well. However, I am still happy with our victory in the overall series.”

Four leading members of Bangladesh’s bowling attack – Shakib Al Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, Mohammad Saifuddin and Mahedi Hasan – were rested for the game. The Tigers felt the absence during the six overs of the power play and the six overs at the end of the Black Caps’ innings, when they could not be held back.

But there was a chance during the last over of the power play, when Shoriful Islam had dismissed both of New Zealand’s openers in the span of three balls. The captain believes that was the Tigers’ opportunity to seize the momentum of the match. If they had, the result may have been different.

“Our bowlers did well, but were a little expensive at the end. Still, they tried and the spinners were very good. They gave us momentum by picking up two wickets in the early overs.

But, when it came to the chase, Bangladesh trailed behind. Within nine overs, chasing a target of 161, they had lost their first four batsmen and posted only 46. The captain, alongside Afif Hossain, put on a strong 63-run partnership for the fifth wicket, but they could not take the Tigers all the way.

Mahmudullah blamed the poor start for the way the innings went, but he also had praise for the performance of the visiting bowlers.

“It was a good wicket for batting, but we did not start well. Every over the expected rate rose higher, piling on more pressure. Afif and I tried to build a partnership, but their bowlers implemented their plans very well.”

The Tigers have had an excellent run leading up to the World Cup. They won the series against Zimbabwe 2-1, before blasting through Australia on home soil by a 4-1 margin. And though they lost the final game, they still took the series against the Black Caps 3-2. Mahmudullah said it was best to forget the loss and instead take pride in winning three consecutive series.

“We played good cricket to win the past three series. These consecutive wins have really energised the team. I hope we can pick ourselves up and start winning again in the World Cup.”

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher