England captain Andrew Strauss blamed early evening dew for their Friday’s shock two-wicket defeat against Bangladesh which left their World Cup campaign in tatters.
‘There was a 20-over period where it was very, very bad,’ Strauss said at the post-match press conference.
‘Graeme Swann couldn’t grip the ball at all. I think there’s something not quite right if a spinner can’t grip the ball in this part of the world, where spin plays such an important role,’ he said.
‘Graeme was obviously very frustrated, he felt he had a big role to play in the game, and for a period there we had to take him off until later on when he could grip it,’ said Strauss.
Swann conceded 42 runs in 10 overs for his two wickets as Bangladesh cruised to 227-8 to win the game in a massive turn around of their fortune after West Indies had bowled them out for 58 runs in the previous game.
The co-hosts looked to be probably heading out of the competition when they slumped to 169-8 chasing 226 to win on an unpredictable wicket with the ball taking reverse-swing.
But Shafiul decided to attack Swann and took 16 runs off his final over which included the only six of the game, as the momentum swung to Bangladesh’s way.
‘We thought we were in a great position to win it. Ajmal (Shahzad) was “reversing” it a little bit, and bowled a really good spell there.
‘(But) the dew makes reverse-swing a lot harder as well,’ said Strauss, who also partly blamed the early batting collapse for the defeat.
Bangladesh captain Sakib al Hasan won the toss and gambled with ball which paid off as the visitors were reeling at 53-3 in the 17th over, to the delight of the roaring partisan fans.
Jonathan Trott (67 off 99 balls) and Eoin Morgan (63 off 72 balls) smashed contrasting half-centuries to rescue England from a dreadful start but at the end of the day their efforts were not enough.
‘I think losing three wickets early with the bat certainly didn’t help us,’ said Strauss.
‘It was a pretty slow, low, stodgy wicket – and we needed wickets in hand to get up to 240 or 250, which would have been a very good score.
‘Eoin Morgan played exceptionally well, and obviously Jonathan Trott stuck in there.
‘We felt it was a par score that we could defend it, and we got ourselves in a great position to do that.
‘But in the end we weren’t able to take those last two wickets, which is very disappointing for us,’ he said.
Courtesy of New Age