“We tried to come back strongly but once again fielding cost us,” said a disappointed Mohammad Mithun in the press conference following the five-wicket defeat to New Zealand in the second ODI which saw the Kiwis clinch the series ahead of the third and final ODI in Wellington.
Perhaps Mithun was reminded of the numerous times that the Tigers have failed to drive home the advantage from a strong position having done well with the bat in the second ODI after a batting collapse in the first ODI.
Problem areas it appears are prevalent in all three departments and it surfaced once again during crucial match situations.
A throw at the wrong end from Taskin Ahmed in the 18th over when the right decision could have seen Devon Conway, who struck 73, struggling to make the non-striker’s end in time. A wicket then could have turned things around after Mahedi Hasan’s double strike had seen the Kiwis go three down for 53 runs. Taskin was subjected to admonishment from Mushfiqur Rahim but the Bangladesh wicket-keeper then missed a regulation catch behind the stumps off Taskin’s bowling in the 36th over, which would have turned the game. In the very same over, Mithun himself could not latch onto a Tom Latham uppish drive, the ball falling just tantalizingly close to his hands.
In the very next over, Mahedi dropped a sitter off his own delivery as Latham was dropped again on 58. The Kiwi captain went on to score an unbeaten ton and carry New Zealand home with 10 deliveries to spare. A series of close calls but fielding once again in focus after another bitter loss.
Mithun, who blitz an unbeaten 73 off 57 deliveries with the bat, said the total was enough and also spoke of disappointment having done so well today to turn things around after Dunedin.
“270 is a decent total to defend and the wicket was a bit tricky. Obviously disappointed.
“Everybody was trying to find their way after Dunedin and wanted to give their best and forget the past after Dunedin. We tried to comeback strongly. It’s a game of cricket so mistakes can happen,” he said.
What most the hurt the Tigers was that they were close and had the chances to clinch their very first victory in Kiwi soil.
“We never won any matches here and today was a good chance to win. But lots of positives too in this game.”
About his 73 not out, which is also his highest score in ODIs, Mithun said: “We know New Zealand is a tough condition for us. I tried to stay in the present and go from ball to ball. If we get too bogged down here, then it’s difficult to score so I tried to play the deliveries according to merit and positively.”