Harare, July 31 (IANS) Bangladesh skipper on the white-ball tour of Zimbabwe, Nurul Hasan has called upon his teammates to improve quickly as the visitors lost the opening T20I of the three-match series by 17 runs at the Harare Sports Club.
Craig Ervine’s Zimbabwe blasted 205/3 in the allotted 20 overs with Wessly Madhevere and Sikandar Raza scoring quick half-centuries to give Bangladesh a stiff target. Several top- and middle-order batters made confident starts but none could convert them into big scores as Bangladesh fell 17 runs short in the chase.
With the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia less than three months away, it was a wakeup call for Bangladesh, who did not really cover themselves in glory in the previous edition of the global event in the UAE last year.
The newly-appointed T20I captain Nurul Hasan, who emerged the highest scorer for his side with an unbeaten 42, said, “I think we failed to bowl in good areas in the last five to six overs and they batted really well.
“There are the areas (bowling in the last five to six overs) that we need to improve before the next game,” the skipper was quoted as saying by ICC.
Bangladesh have now lost 13 of their last 14 T20I matches.
Bangladesh allowed Wesley Madhevere (67 not out) and Sikandar Raza (65 not out) to score 77 runs from the final five overs of Zimbabwe’s innings and Nural said this may have proved the difference between the two sides.
Nural took over the T20I captaincy on the eve of the tour of Zimbabwe and promised his team would play ‘fearless cricket’ during his reign as skipper. There were plenty of positive signs, though, with Bangladesh managing to score 188/6 in reply.
“I don’t want to show (make) any excuses whether it is batting, bowling or fielding it is all about us and we have to improve,” Nural added.
“Everyone tried their level best and it was a 50-50 game. Chasing down over 200 runs would have been a big deal. When we came to the dressing room we were confident that we can chase down the total as the wicket was good but as I said we have lot to improve as far as bowling in the last five to six overs are concerned.
“I feel if we had given 10 to 15 runs less then it could have been a different game all together,” he added.
The second game of Bangladesh’s series against Zimbabwe will be played later on Sunday, with the third and final match on Tuesday.