Bangladesh started the three-match T20I series on the front foot, defeating hosts India by seven wickets despite struggles with severe air pollution in Delhi.
Bangladesh stand in skipper Mahmudullah admitted that the team still has a long way to go in the shortest format of the game, and need to increase their game sense to bring more positive results.
Bangladesh started the three-match T20I series on the front foot, defeating hosts India by seven wickets despite struggles with severe air pollution in Delhi. However, India fought back in the second and third matches to clinch the series.
The third T20I, at the Vidharbha Cricket Stadium in Nagpur, unfolded in a similar manner to the series as a whole.
Bangladesh started the match very well, picking up the wickets of Indian captain Rohit Sharma and Shekhar Dhawan after electing to field first. Subsequently, India recovered and posted a challenging total of 174, riding on half centuries from Lokesh Rahul (52) and Shreyas Iyer (62).
The Tigers had a shaky start to the batting innings themselves, losing Liton Das (9) and Soumya Sarker (0) early. Mohamamd Naim and Mohammad Mithun then formed a brilliant 98-run partnership to bring Bangladesh back into the game, before a middle order collapse condemned the Tigers to defeat.
From a strong position of 110/2, Bangladesh were bowled out for 144. India picked up back-to-back wickets on four occasions, when Bangladesh were on 12, 110, 126 and 144. Naim was the pick of Bangladesh’s batsmen, scoring 81 runs off 48 deliveries.
Indian pacer Deepak Chahar picked up six wickets and conceded just seven runs in his 3.2 overs to orchestrate the demolition.
Addressing the post-match briefing in Nagpur on Sunday, Mahmudullah said: “If we consider T20 cricket, the Bangladesh still have a long way to go. We are still not the kind of team that has a lot of big hitters. Rather than power hitting, we have to focus on timing. We are working to improve this. When we become more consistent and increase our game sense in T20 cricket, performances will get better.”
The stand-in skipper praised the performances of pacer Al-Amin Hossin, rookie opener Mohammad Naim and young leg-spinner Aminul Islam Biplob, but admitted that Bangladesh missed a great opportunity after a good start to the series.
“Naim’s innings was brilliant to watch. I feel sorry that he has played such a great innings, but we were not able to back him or finish the game. It was a failure from our middle order. It is more frustrating for us. If we managed to finish the game and bring a positive result, then Naim could have received more credit,” he said.