Bangladesh played eight batsmen against South Africa to boost confidence: Mashrafe

Bangladesh played eight batsmen against South Africa to boost confidence: Mashrafe

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sportsBangladesh played eight batsmen in the first ODI to allow those out of form some freedom, skipper Mashrafe bin Mortaza has said following their crushing defeat to South Africa.The Proteas took a 1-0 lead in the three match series with a facile eight-wicket win at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Friday.Bangladesh meekly surrendered the T20 series against South Africa last week before registering their third straight defeat at home.They had lost the last match against India in their previous series.The Tigers were bowled for 96 and 138 in the two T20s against Proteas following their 77-run loss to India in the final ODI match in which they were bundled out for 240.The batsmen faltered during chase in all three of those matches and the slump is a huge reverse to their form following the World Cup earlier this year.Their five-bowler plan had been effective in the last two series against India and Pakistan.But Bangladesh opted for the change to bat deep, Mashrafe told reporters after the match.”During the World Cup, the batsmen were in form. Back then the bowlers weren’t doing well so we gave them the space to have five bowlers.”“Now the batsmen aren’t in form, so we wanted them to play with some freedom.”Bangladesh, however, were skittled out for a paltry 160 on Friday, courtesy of a record-breaking six wicket haul by debutant Kagiso Radaba.The score suggests that their plan did not work.Mashrafe, however, defended the selection which left their bowling attack thin with only four specialist bowlers and three spinning allrounders.”But when the batsmen are not scoring, we have to support them. Also, we had Mahmudullah to attack their left-handed batsmen. “So it’s not that we didn’t have spin-bowling options. We had seven bowlers.”Mashrafe also hailed Radaba’s superb effort.”Obviously the hat-trick was a reason. He (Rabada) should be given credit. Those three wickets definitely put you on the back foot.”But the 31-year old has no complaint about the pitch.“But the wicket was really good though. Shakib (Al Hasan) and Nasir (Hossain) proved that. We started a partnership. If only Mushy (Mushfiqur Rahim) and Shakib extended it a bit more.”If we could score 200-220, I believe it would have been a different ball game.””I hope that those who are starting and getting runs should finish their job. We need to turn around from this. Maybe we can’t change much after one day’s practice, so we have to change our mentality.”

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