When you are losing, it is not pleasing and to some extent turns monotonous when you are confronting the press after every defeat. So, when a grim-faced Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza appeared in the post-match briefing after his side's six-wicket defeat against the Black Caps at Maclean Park, he mostly replayed the rhetoric.
“We batted well in the last 10 overs and bowled well in the first 10. We got the breakthrough early. We created a chance but Kane Williamson batted really well and along with him [Colin de] Grandhomme also batted well. I think it was really a professional performance from them,” said the Bangladesh captain while summing up the game.
He said that his team created a chance like they did in the one-dayers but could not grab that. “It could have gone with us, but unfortunately we could not grab the chance in that Shakib over. Had we grabbed that it could have been different,” said Mashrafe while reflecting on a Williamson catch at mid-wicket that Soumya Sarker misjudged.
“The boundary at that end was a bit big and, maybe that's why he was 10 to 12 yards inside the rope and there was no instruction for him to be there. He thought he could run back and manage to hold it but he could not,” Mashrafe elaborated. He also said that he did not see whether Imrul Kayes also misjudged the other catch -- also off Williamson's bat in the 16th over, resulting in the ball dropping just over the ropes -- near the boundary.
“The match could have been turned back our way had we taken those catches, especially the first one off Shakib. Because at that time they needed more than seven runs per over and they had their last recognised pair in the middle,” he said.
Like his previous briefings he also said: “We have some individual performances that was also evident in the one-dayers. But we are yet to perform collectively.”
The Bangladesh captain also refuted the notion that his batsmen are not good against pace and bounce. “(Mahmudullah) Riyad handled it beautifully. He adjusted with the wicket beautifully and played his shots against their top bowlers. I don't want to believe that our batsman can't handle pace like 147kmph. Besides, we did not get out to their bouncing deliveries. If you look at our innings a few of our batsman were out to full toss deliveries and in front of the wicket,” defended Mashrafe.
He said that his team lost the plot when they were reduced to 30 for four. “The turning point in the game was when we lost four wickets. Mahmudullah batted unbelievably well and that's why we have scored 140. Otherwise it could have been a score between 115 to120,” he said.
His New Zealand counterpart however was happy after yet another professional performance with an experimental bowling side.
When his attention was drawn to that shot over mid-wicket, Williamson said that he had not noticed the fielder's unlikely position.
“I just chipped that over there. I just tried to whack it and get it over him,” said Williamson. He also praised Bangladesh's bowling.
“Credit to Bangladesh, the way they bowled. They were able to take wickets at key times and kept it tight but it is fantastic to see Colin come out and play fantastically to take the game away from them.”
“They have got some very good T20 bowlers, particularly Mustafizur. I have played him in the IPL. He is a world-class operator.”