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Tuesday, 01 January 2008

Embarrassing defeat for Bangladesh
Brendan McCullum
QUEENSTOWN: Bangladesh suffered an embarrassing 10-wicket loss in the third and final ODI against New Zealand at the Queenstown Events Centre today (Monday).

More than the margin of defeat it was the manner in which it came that should hurt the Tigers most. Bangladesh could muster only 93 in 37.5 overs, the lowest total at this ground after being sent in and Brendan McCullum blasted a savage 28-ball 80 with nine fours and six sixes as the Black Caps completed victory in just 36 balls. Earlier captain Daniel Vettori ripped through the middle-order to become New Zealand’s top-wicket-taker in ODIs during an astonishing spell of 6-2-7-5 and orchestrate the 3-0 sweep.

No team has won batting first in six ODIs held here and traditionally there has always been something in the wicket and in the conditions to exploit for the bowlers early on. Today’s match was the third occasion when the batting team had failed to post a total beyond 200.

Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful, who top-scored with 25 off 31 balls however did not blame the pitch.

“No excuses. We just played very poor cricket today. We would have also fielded probably if I had won the toss but there was nothing out of the ordinary in that pitch. They just bowled in a channel and we capitulated,” said Ashraful who was still hopeful about the Test series that starts in four days.

“The batsmen have generally looked comfortable here and they are letting go the balls nicely in the centre and also in practice. That auger well for the longer version games.”

Coach Jamie Siddons felt the performance today was inexplicable.

“It’s very hard to describe that performance and why that happened so badly but it happened. I’m not sure where it came from but we are embarrassed by it and it’s a big, big loss and I don’t think I have ever been associated with one so bad,” Siddons said. The coach nevertheless thought that this disappointment was part of a growing process.

“When I took the job I knew that we were not competitive with the top four-five sides in the world on a regular basis. These are young boys who will have good days and bad days and as a young player I know what kind of mistakes they can make. We just need to continue working harder.”

Siddons said New Zealand’s ploy of playing on the patience of the Bangladeshi batsmen worked out perfectly.

“I don’t think they wanted to bowl us out today. They were more consistent and put the ball in the right areas to make scoring very difficult for us and then the batsmen made mistakes under pressure.”

With the arrival of experienced Habibul Bashar, Shahriar Nafees Ahmed and Enamul Haque Jr. for the Test series Siddons believed the Tigers can come back with dignity if they can become a bit more predictable.

“We are capable of anything. We can respond really well or we can capitulate. The consistency is what we are seeking. The three players have joined us today and had their nets. Among them Bashar is a proven player of the short ball and is almost certain to come at three.

“We were badly exposed today and that is good for me also because that means we have a lot more work to do and it gives me a lot more ammunition to remind the players that they can’t stop working hard.”

The Bangladesh team will leave Queenstown tomorrow afternoon by road for Dunedin. Four players who were part of the ODI squad – Javed Omer, Tushar Imran, Mehrab Hossain Jr. and Nazmul Hossain will meanwhile fly back to Dhaka from Auckland tomorrow.


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