Sarkar: Middle-order batsman needed to bat through

Bangladesh batsman Soumya Sarkar believes they needed one of their middle-order players to bat through the overs if they wanted to chase down South Africa’s big total in the first T20I in Bloemfontein on Thursday.

Chasing a target of 196, opening batsman Sarker gave the tourists a good start with 47 ff 31 balls but he was out in the 10th over just when the Tigers needed him bat through the innings.

Sarkar’s wicket sparked a bit of a mini batting collapse as the visitors lost experienced pair Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah fairly quickly after that to fade away and eventually lose by 20 runs.

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Speaking to reporters after the game, Sarkar said: “If someone from No. 3 to 6 could have played a big innings in the last 10 overs, it would have helped us.

“Then we would have had a set batsman at the crease in the last 10 overs, making things easier for us. They made nearly 200 runs but we also made 175. If one batsman did well in the middle overs, we could have won the game easily.

“But this [performance] will give us confidence that we can also score 200 runs.”

The left-handed Sarkar also admitted that Bangladesh needed to work on how to rotate the strike in T20 cricket, with the Tigers playing out almost as double the amount of dot balls compared to the Proteas.

The Bangladesh batters were intent on hitting boundaries but it was all the in-between deliveries that was going for no runs that really cost them in the end.

Sarkar continued: “Dot balls are a big problem in T20s. We have to reduce that in the next game. Even when we bowled or fielded, we should have saved more runs or not given away the no-ball that went for four.

“They would have scored 20 runs fewer. Chasing 170-odd would have been a different story.”

The second and final T20I between the Proteas and Bangladesh will take place in Potchefstroom on Sunday.