Mahmudullah looks for answers as Tigers’ rut continues

Bangladesh have now lost seven Twenty20 International matchess in a row

Mahmudullah consoles Saif Hasan in the second T20I match against Pakistan at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on 20 November 2021Prothom Alo

Bangladesh T20I captain Mahmudullah Riyad was left singing the same old tune of top order batting failures for a seemingly endless run of disappointment that the team is on, after their second defeat in two days against Pakistan in Mirpur, handing the series to the tourists, reports UNB.

On Saturday, Bangladesh endured a defeat by eight wickets at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium. And after the match, Mahmudullah said it was their batting that failed them once again.

In the last one month, Bangladesh played 10 matches and won only two-against Oman and Papua New Guinea in the qualifying round of the Twenty20 World Cup. The latest defeat ensured their series defeat to Pakistan in the three-match T20 Internationals, reports BSS.

It was Bangladesh’s consecutive seventh T20I defeat, going back to the start of the Super-12s phase in the recently concluded T20 World Cup.

In these seven matches, Bangladesh with the bat have managed totals of: 171/4, 124/9, 139/5, 84, 73, 127/7 and 108/7.

“I think we started off quite well today. Afif (Hossain) and (Najmul Hossain) Shanto batted really well in the middle. I and Shanto were trying to get a partnership but we couldn’t capitalise on the end overs,” Mahmudullah said after the match.

Afif Hossain loses his wicket while trying to play a reverse sweep
Prothom Alo

“For a team like us, we need a set batter to be there at the end, but it didn’t happen today.”

With the 84 against South Africa in the World Cup, Bangladesh became the first ICC full-member side to be bowled out for under 100 thrice in a calendar year. In the next game against Australia, they extended this dubious record with a fourth sub-100 total in 2021.

It was a way better wicket as suggested by Pakistan batsman Fakhar Zaman who struck a brilliant 51 ball-57 not out to guide the side to an eight-wicket victory with 11 balls to spare.

“It was a better wicket than yesterday’s (Friday), not an ideal wicket but better than yesterday. Whenever you play outside your country, it’s important to win games. We’ll try to win the third game as well,” Fakhar, who was adjudged man of the match, said.

Mahmudullah admitted they couldn’t capitalise the partnership of Nazmul Hossain Shanto and Afif Hossain despite a shaky start.

As the openers were removed in just two overs, leaving Bangladesh at 5-2, Afif and Shanto shared 46-run partnership to get the side back on track. But Bangladesh failed to pace the innings at the death and scored just 23 runs in the last five overs. It was where the match was lost.

“We started well, Afif and Shanto batted well. Me and Shanto were trying to get a partnership but didn’t capitalise in the last few overs,” Mahmudullah said.

He insisted that a batsman should bat till the 15th over to get them a competitive score in this format.

Bangladesh T20I team skipper Mahmudullah said he was proud of the performance of bowlers
Prothom Alo

“I think a team like us needs a set batter till the 15th over, we didn’t do that.”

Mahmudullah was also left flummoxed by a question regarding the team’s catch taking ability, after the team dropped two more easy catches on Saturday, continuing another trend from the World Cup of missing regulation catches.

“Boys are putting a lot of effort into the catching during practice but unfortunately, we’re missing out on chances (during the game). The bowling unit has been outstanding over the last six months, whether it is the pace or spin. It’s the batting unit that has to come up with the goods,” he added.

The third and final T20I of the series will be held on 22 November at the same venue. After the T20I series, the teams will compete in a two-match Test series.