Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza blamed death-over bowling for his side’s 28-run defeat against host Bangladesh in the first ODI at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka on Sunday.
Visitors Zimbabwe were in the driving seat in the game at a stage when the Tigers were reeling on 139/6 in 29 overs.
But opener Imrul Kayes produced a crucial century and a record 127-run seventh-wicket stand with all-rounder Saifuddin to bring Bangladesh back into the game.
Zimbabwe in the last 10 overs leaked 85 runs courtesy a couple of dropped catches and misfields on the boundary, topped by aggressive batting from Imrul and Saifuddin.
“It’s fine lines,” lamented a disappointed Masakadza to the media on after the match.
“I thought if the catches had been taken definitely it would have been a turning point. But it’s fine lines in cricket. Sometimes you get those and sometimes you don’t. (Yesterday) we did not get it and that had set us to the back foot,” said the Zimbabwean skipper. With 272 runs to get, Zimbabwe imploded after a decent start.
Masakadza’’s needless run out and left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam dismissing wicketkeeper-batsman Brendan Taylor and all-rounder Sikandar Raza by two stunning deliveries rattled the chase.
At a stage, even 200 looked a distant thing but all-rounders Sean Williams and Kyle Jarvis exhibited some big hitting to take the score past the 240-run mark. Williams remained unbeaten on a 58-ball 50.
“I thought the guys played really well to get us that close. I did not really think we could get where we got to. Like I said we lost the last block on 10 with our bowling quite badly which really set us back. If we had bowled better in the death we would not have been chasing so many runs. We won the one in the batting but we lost the one in the bowling by too far,” the Zimbabwe opener explained.
“I think there are lots of positives to be taken from this game. So it is not going to be really that hard. You just need to make sure we win a few more blocks of 10 other than we did. And just push a little bit from where we were,” said the 35-year old.
Zimbabwe and Bangladesh face off in the second ODI in Chittagong tomorrow – Dhaka Tribune.