Keemo Paul reprieves affected bowlers’ confidence – Mashrafe

Nazmul Islam drops a catch AFP
Nazmul Islam drops a catch AFP

ESPNcricinfo-Bangladesh came away from their four-wicket loss to West Indies in the second ODI ruing two dropped catches at crucial stages of the game, which Mashrafe Mortaza felt affected the confidence of the bowlers.

Keemo Paul was the batsman to benefit from both chances, in the 44th and 48th overs, and the fielder on both occasions was substitute Nazmul Islam. In the first instance, Paul was on 6 when Nazmul rushed in to catch a mis-timed slog sweep but couldn’t hold on to it. Then, with West Indies needing 23 off 13 balls, Nazmul overran Paul’s full-blooded pull but managed to stop a boundary. Paul’s unbeaten 18 was a perfect foil for Shai Hope during their 71-run unbroken seventh-wicket that helped the visitors level the ODI series.

“We definitely suffered due to the dropped catches especially when we dropped Paul twice,” the Bangladesh captain said. “If Kemar Roach had come to the crease, it would have been slightly more difficult for them to rotate the strike. [Rubel] did get hit for a six first ball but he came back in the last four balls. He created two chances, and if that catch was taken off his bowling, the last ball would have been a dot. These small moments give confidence to bowlers.

“We had two fielders [Liton Das and Imrul Kayes] outside today. We had Ariful [Haque], our best fielder, when Imrul left the field. [Nazmul Islam] Apu is the quicker of the two. He was having trouble seeing the ball on that side, although you can’t give excuses at this level.”

Nazmul wasn’t the only one to put down chances on Tuesday. Imrul Kayes dropped a sitter at short fine leg before Shimron Hetmyer had opened his account. While it didn’t really hurt Bangladesh at that stage, as Hetmyer fell a couple of overs later, it brought to attention their fielding mixed-bag during this ODI series.

While Tamim Iqbal took one of the best catches of the year in the first ODI, Ariful Haque, Rubel Hossain and Mushfiqur Rahim dropped catches. Darren Bravo was given reprieves on 13 and 18, after Ariful dropped a sitter at point while Mushfiqur was stretched by a chance that wicketkeepers usually want to take. Rubel dropped Rovman Powell’s skier off Shakib and although it didn’t affect the fielding side in terms of runs, the lapses brought unwanted focus on an area that has seen improvements in recent months.

“You have seen the type of training we do. We do fielding drills every day, even on days when we don’t bat or bowl,” Mashrafe said. “But it is about confidence in the field. When you are uneasy dropping a catch, you tend to drop an easy one. It is totally about one’s mentality.

“We missed a number of catches in these two matches, but we still want to move from this game with the positive things.”

In the second ODI, Bangladesh were also slowed down by wickets right when they were looking to accelerate. Tamim and Mushfiqur fell in the space of a few overs after they had added 111 runs for the second wicket, and scored fifties. Mahmudullah fell in the 41st over, at the start of his favoured time in an innings. Shakib also fell three overs before the end.

“We should have scored 15-20 runs more. We may have reached nearly 300 had Tamim and Mushfiqur batted longer. If the Shakib-Riyad partnership would have extended by 6-7 overs, we may have at least reached 270-280, which would have definitely helped the bowlers,” said Mashrafe.


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