Bangladesh skipper Mashrafee bin Murtaza refrained from giving any excuses for their embarrassing defeat against New Zealand in the first one-day international of three-match series in Napier on Wednesday.
Mashrafee rued the lack of time for acclimatisation to the New Zealand conditions but refused to term it as an excuse for their lacklustre outing against the Kiwis.
‘There are no excuses. We need a week to adjust to the conditions, but I don’t want to make any excuses. We will give our best in the next game,’ Mashrafee told reporters after the match.
Bangladeshi players flew to New Zealand in th ree separate batches with the first batch going there on February 6 and the last batch going on February 9, as they took part in the sixth edition of Bangladesh Premier League.
Bangladesh only managed to play one practice match on February 10, with players like Mashrafee, Tamim Iqbal, Mohammad Saifuddin and Rubel Hossain missing due to their late arrival.
Bangladesh opted to bat first but an early barrage of Kiwi pacers Trent Boult and Matt Henry left them stuttering at 42-4 before the end of the power play.
The situation worsened for the visitors when they lost two more wickets to be reduced to 94-6 in 22.3 overs and were at the risk of getting bundled out for a paltry score.
But Mohammad Mithun and Mohammad Saifuddin’s resilient 84-run eighth wicket stand gave the innings some respectability before the visiting side got bundled out on 232 in 48.5 overs.
‘It was tough. We were struggling with the bat, lost too many wickets at the start. They bowled well but we lost too many,’ Mashrafee said.
In reply, New Zealand were off to a solid start with openers Martin Guptill and Henry Nicholls putting 103 runs for the first wicket to set the run chase for their side.
Mehedi bowled Nicholls (53) to break the stand and Mahmudullah successfully reviewed to get rid of skipper Kane Williamson (11) but the wickets never really changed the momentum of the match.
Guptill completed his 15th ODI hundred and remained unbeaten on 117 off 116 balls alongside Ross Taylor, who made 45 off 49 balls, to take their team home with 33 balls in hand.
Williamson was all praises for his bowlers and Guptill as he felt that everyone chipped in to complete the thumping win.
‘Very good performance. The bowlers set the tone first up and we were able to pick the early wickets which we are always after,’ he said.
‘From thereon we were able to pick regular wickets. Martin was brilliant, fantastic hundred and everyone did their part.’
Williamson hoped to continue this winning momentum in their second ODI in Christchurch.
‘Something we always focus on is the attitude on the field and intensity we bring. We were good in the field; hope we back that up in the next game,’ he added.
New Zealand v Bangladesh
Tamim c Latham b Boult5
Liton b Henry1
Soumya c and b Henry30
Mushfiq b Boult 5
Mithun b Ferguson62
Mahmudullah c Taylor b Ferguson13
Sabbir st Latham b Santner13
Mehedi c Neesham b Santner26
Saifuddin c Guptill b Santner41
Mashrafee not out9
Mustafiz b Boult0
Extras (lb5, w16, nb1, pen 5) 27
Total (all out, 48.5 overs)232
Fall of wickets: 1-5 (Tamim), 2-19 (Liton), 3-42 (Mushfiq), 4-42 (Soumya), 5-71 (Mahmudullah), 6-94 (Sabbir), 7-131 (Mehedi), 8-215 (Saifuddin), 2-229 (Mithun), 10-232 (Mustafiz)
Henry 9 1 48 2
Boult 9.5 0 40 3
De Grandhomme 5 0 19 0
Ferguson 10 1 44 2
Santner 8 0 45 3
Neesham 7 0 26 0
New Zealand innings
M Guptill not out117
H Nicholls b Mehedi53
K Williamson lbw Mahmudullah11
R. Taylor not out 45
Extras (lb3, w4)7
Total (for 2 wickets, 44.3 overs)233
Fall of wickets: 1-103 (Nicholls), 2-137 (Williamson),
Mashrafee 8.3 0 33 0
Saifuddin 7 0 43 0
Mustafiz 8 0 36 0
Mehedi 8 1 42 1
Sabbir 7 0 41 0
Mahmudullah 5 0 27 1
Soumya 1 0 8 0
Result: New Zealand won by 8 wickets
Man of the match: Martin Guptill (New Zealand)
Series: New Zealand lead the three-match series 1-0