Vol. 4 Num 168 Tue. November 11, 2003  

Same old story

After another obnoxious ba-tting display, Bangladesh coach Dav Whatmore conceded that there could be a communication problem between him and his charges.

The Tigers had promised to put their shoddy show in Chittagong behind them but ended up doing even worse at the Bangabandhu National Stadium as they were shot out for 135, something which even the usually impassive Whatmore found hard to swallow.

"May be some people did not really understand what I meant," said the 49-year old coach during the post match briefing.

To the question whether anything changed between Chittagong and Dhaka, Whatmore's answer was blunt and witty.

"In Chittagong we lost five wickets in between 10 to 20 overs but in Dhaka, we lost the wickets in the first ten overs. May be it was the only difference."

Bangladesh skipper Khaled Mahmud was searching for words to explain the horrendous top-order collapse which saw four wickets going down for seven runs.

"It's really difficult to explain such a situation, but again that can not be an excuse for another poor show.

'Definitely I'm upset. We need to sit again and discuss what's wrong with us," said Mahmud who for the second match running, bore the brunt of the home fans' wrath.

"There will always be pressure when you play at home. The crowd was shouting even when I was going for the toss. That kind of reaction from the supporters is very painful. It hurts a lot," said a pensive Mahmud.

Mahmud said it was all over for his team with those fall of wickets inside ten overs.

"Cricket is a game of runs and once we failed to put on a decent total we knew the match was lost. It's tough because when you lose that many wickets in no time, it becomes very difficult to post a fighting total."

But the Bangladesh captain believed that all the gloom could be cleared with one confident performance.

"This streak of bad form won't last if we can perform to our potential. That' the main target. We got to put some runs on the board," said Mahmud.

Mahmud felt that the physical presence of England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff was something that his side was finding difficult to counter.

"Flintoff hits the ball very hard. He is a very good striker of the ball and he has taken the game away from us both here and in Chittagong."

Mahmud justified the omission of veteran batsman Habibul Bashar.

"He (Bashar) is not performing in the one-day game. That's why we thought of introducing Moniruzzaman while giving him a rest. But Monir also didn't click today."

Mushfiqur Rahman follows through on a sweep on way to scoring a patient 22 against England in the day-night second one-day international at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday. PHOTO: STAR