Nigar Sultana 'frustrated' with experienced players not converting starts

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Bangladesh were comfortably placed at 52/2 in 8.3 overs before the game slipped away from them
Bangladesh were comfortably placed at 52/2 in 8.3 overs before the game slipped away from them © BCB

Bangladesh captain Nigar Sultana feels that the top-order's inability to carry on after getting starts hurt them in the three-match T20I series opener against India at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Sunday.

India beat Bangladesh by seven wickets, scoring 118-3 in 16.2 overs after restricting the hosts to 114-5. Bangladesh were comfortably placed at 52/2 in 8.3 overs before the game slipped away from them and India crawled back with the help of some disciplined bowling.

Bangladesh opener Shamima Sultana (17) and Shathi Rani (22), and one-down batter Sobhana Mostary (23), got starts but were unable to continue with their innings like the way Harmanpreet Kaur did for her side, scoring an unbeaten half century to guide her team over the line.

"We should have scored at least 140 runs and then it could have been a bit difficult for them," Nigar told reporters after the game. "I think we have the skill. There is obviously potential as they (top-order batters) are playing in the national team from a long time. I think the players will have to come out of this (bad patch) individually. When a player gets a good start, why would she get out after reaching 25? She has to carry on the innings," she said.

"You have to be more careful about shot selection. I think it might also be a lack of attention. Why would there not be performance if the skill is there?

"I think there was a lack of intent. When you play for the national team, then of course you are experienced and that is why you are playing. We are continuously playing and the coaches are training us in different situations. Still, why can't we do it," she wondered.

Sultana said she expected better from the more experienced players in the side. "Sometimes, pressure works on players individually when there are a couple of dot balls and then there are two more trying to overcome that. It's okay for those who are coming from the Under-19 level but when it is from those who are playing for the national team regularly, then it is frustrating to see.

"Basically where I bat my responsibility is to build the innings and also finish it and taking that into consideration, my run out is one of the key reasons behind us not scoring big against them.

"In the middle over I think we played far too many dot balls. The wicket was low and slow and there was turn too but still were still short by 20 to 25 runs," she said.

Speaking after the win, Deepti Sharma felt that the wicket was quite difficult to bat on and India's experienced bowlers outshone their opponents.

"They played well in the powerplay and did well in the middle overs. I think their emerging players also played well but we have experienced bowlers who know where to bowl in the middle overs and we just executed the plan. They can of course do well in the coming days," Deepti said.

"It was not an easy target because the wicket was slow and low and we played according to the situation. We covered up as a batting unit. Obviously as a bowling side, they are very good and improving series by series."

Bangladesh will take on India in the next game at the same venue on July 11.




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