Sports, Cricket

‘Top five should have used their experience’

Published : 12 Jul 2023 08:49 PM
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Bangladesh missed a golden opportunity to beat India for the first time in five years after their batters failed to reach the 96-run target in the second T20I in Dhaka. They lost five wickets for one run in the last eight balls to collapse spectacularly to fall short by eight runs and spinner Nahida Akter felt batters have to take responsibility for the defeat.

Nahida, who was part of the strong bowling performance from Bangladesh in the first half, was among those to fall in the four-wicket last over bowled by Shafali Verma. Bangladesh's chase was on course till captain Nigar Sultana was at the crease. But as soon as she fell in the penultimate over, things fell apart. Nahida said that the batters should have pushed the scoring in the middle overs as the pressure came down on the lower order.

"We practiced hard enough," Nahida said. "Our coach worked with the batters, especially our senior players. Those who bat in the top five should have used their experience. It is the batters' responsibility as Joty apu [Nigar] said in the last press meet. They have to show more sincerity. They have to think about what happened, but I am sure they will come back in the next game.

"We batted slowly from overs 11 to 15. It would have been easier if we could pick up the singles regularly. It put the batters down the order under pressure. Our coach told us to bat in the mould of chasing 140 runs. We cannot slow down. It was a wicket where you had to sweep the ball. It was unfortunately a batting collapse."

Sultana Khatun's three-wicket haul led the bowling performance. Fahima Khatun returned two wickets while Marufa Akter, Nahida and Rabeya Khan picked up a wicket each. The highlight of Bangladesh's fielding performance was Shorna Akter's catch at long-on to dismiss Yastika Bhatia in the ninth over. Shorna ran in hard and dived forward full length to complete the catch. Nahida admired Shorna's catch but said that they have to be a fitter side.

"A great catch like that always encourages the bowlers," she said. "Shorna took a superb catch. We spoke about saving 10-20 runs in the field. We wanted to take all the catches that came our way. We should have achieved that target today.

"We are honestly not as fit as India. We are trying hard to develop our fitness. We have a foreign trainer now. We will focus hard on fitness in our next camp. The board is giving their best facilities. We have to play better. We are behind now. We are trying to bounce back."