Zimbabwe’s discernible initial approach pushed the Tigers’ top-order batsmen on to the backfoot, said coach Stuart Law. The new Bangladesh coach who has ended up on the losing side in the first two competitive matches in charge believed that if the batsmen had chosen a different route, the result of the game could have been altered.
“Zimbabwe were up for it. It was evident from the first ball really. Their fielding in the ring was fantastic. They were quick to the ball, accurate with their throw; that puts a batting line-up under pressure,” said Law in the post-match press conference after the Tigers went down by four wickets in the first ODI yesterday.
“We probably could have gone about it a bit differently. We looked too conservative to worry about losing wickets.
“And, once we worked out the ball wasn’t doing a great deal, it was up to us to work out a plan on how to knock the Zimbabwe bowling off their length. That proved difficult to do,” he added.
Law said that the result would have still been different had skipper Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim not got out after rebuilding the innings so efficiently after the Tigers were 43 for five.
“They had to rebuild and it was a great effort. Unfortunately, they both got out at the wrong time, just when we needed them to kick on and get us in the last 5-10 overs.
“They’re class players but we need more people like that to stick their hands up and really want to be out there and doing the tough yards.
“We’re trying hard and talking constantly about game plans and facing their bowlers. Time’s come to stop talking about it and get out there and do it,” stressed Law.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor praised how his team’s young and old have come together to force the win.
“It is nice to see our experienced player putting their hands up after I got out early. We didn’t have too much pressure on, but they showed what quality players they are.
“Brian’s effort today was just brilliant. He’s got a bright future, he”ll keep going from strength to strength,” said Taylor.
But the 25-year-old remained cautious of a Bangladeshi fightback.
“We need to focus on the second game. We’ve been in this position before where we were 1-0 up and they’ve dominated later on,” he said.
Man-of-the-match Brian Vitori was understandably happy with his five-wicket haul, but ignored mentions of Tamim Iqbal’s comments having any effect on him. “It wasn’t really about me and Tamim. It was really about setting the tone and I actually had an idea how to bowl at these guys,” he said.
-With The Daily Star input