'We needed a Russell' | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 02, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:41 AM, August 02, 2018

'We needed a Russell'

Despite losing both openers Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar for golden ducks in the very first over of the innings, at one stage Bangladesh were 100 for five in 11 overs with Mahmudullah Riyad and Ariful Haque at the crease but the Tigers eventually ended up posting a modest total of 143 for nine in the first T20I against West Indies on Tuesday.

According to skipper Shakib Al Hasan, in the latter stages of the game Bangladesh suffered from the lack of a big hitter like Andre Russell, who smashed a match-winning 21-ball 35 to clinch a comfortable seven-wicket win in 9.1 overs through the Duckworth-Lewis method after an hour-long rain break curtailed the target to 91 from 11 overs.

“Although at one stage we were 100 in 11 overs, the problem was losing five wickets by then. It's tough to make a comeback from that position unless you have someone like Andre Russell or someone like him who can change the game single-handedly,” Shakib told the media after the defeat.

The Tigers were reduced to five for two after the first over. Liton Das and Shakib then tried to consolidate before the batting side once again suffered a double blow and were struggling on 43 for four after the six Powerplay overs.

Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim then put on a short but sparkling fifth-wicket partnership that raised the visitors' hopes but the early, self-inflicted blows proved too damaging as both players departed trying to bring their side back into the match.

Bangladesh managed to score just 22 runs in the last five overs for the loss of three wickets and Shakib said that losing wickets at regular intervals was also the reason for the downfall.

“The important thing was that we lost wickets at crucial stages. Even after the early wickets, me and Liton had a good partnership but we lost our wickets in the last over of the Powerplay, which was a setback for us.

“Mushfiqur bhai and [Mahmudullah] Riyad bhai had a good partnership, and then Mushfiqur bhai lost his wicket. We lost wickets at crucial stages and that is why we never had the momentum,” he added.

According to the 31-year-old, Bangladesh were 30-40 runs short and he defended his bowlers, saying that winning with such a total is always difficult because you need to take wickets in quick succession. 

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