"On that track, if we had started well, we could have scored 270-280 runs, then it could have been a different ball game" - Rahim AFP

Mushfiqur Rahim, the Bangladesh wicketkeeper-batsman, rued his team's performance with both bat and ball in the first 10 overs, which according to him led to the seven-wicket loss in the second ODI. With the win in the second ODI in Colombo on Sunday (July 28), Sri Lanka registered their first series victory at home in 44 months. Rahim, whose fighting, unbeaten 98 went in vain, mentioned that losing early wickets and later failing to contain the Sri Lanka batsmen during the first powerplay, cost them the game.

"On that track, if we had started well, we could have scored 270-280 runs, then it could have been a different ball game. But at the end, I thought it's a challenging score if we bowl the first 10 overs really well. But we couldn't do that because we had given so many easy boundaries. They knew that later it would be very difficult to score on that track, and we had an extra spinner playing. So, I think the first 10 overs with the batting and bowling lost us the game," Rahim told reporters after the match.

"I think today's wicket was slow compared to the first ODI. It was less grassy too, so we couldn't easily start scoring, and it also offered some spin. It was like an up and down wicket. So, we knew if we could score around 270-280, then it would be very challenging. I think we didn't execute well in the first 10-15 overs with the bat and that cost us the game."

Rahim said the series loss was particularly disappointing considering his team's performance in ODIs in recent years, as a result of which Bangladesh were placed higher than Sri Lanka in the ODI rankings.

"Obviously, it's disappointing because if you look at our ODI stats for the last four or five years, we have been tremendous and that's why we came at the seventh position in the ODI ranking. That shows how good we were in the last four-five years. But you have to do well over and over and it's very difficult. It's essential that you do the basics well because win or loss it's just an outcome. I only look at the process that we didn't do well with the bat, with the ball and in the field. Sri Lanka did better than us," Rahim said, adding that the opposition did the basics right which Bangladesh failed to do.

"They didn't play outstanding cricket, they played normal basic cricket and we couldn't do that. So, that's one of the key areas that we can take as a lesson from the last two games, Still we have one more game to be played and we are representing our country and hopefully, we will win the next match and take the momentum for the couple of series back home. We have a lot of areas to improve on, but we don't have too much time, we only have only two days in between.

"I think we first need to work on keeping it simple and keep the basics right. Bowling with good line and length, don't give too much room, too much width, and use our variations. With the bat, I think we need to play to our strength and whoever gets set, has to make sure he goes big. In the last two games, the guy who got in, ended up scoring big, and his team scored a big total or chased the total down quite easily.

"We need to work hard and we need to be more smart with our fielding. I think it needs lot of courage and and a lot of hard work to do well in fielding and it takes a lot of pride, too, because you are playing for your country. Every run you save is important. It's about fitness, a bit of mental challenge and also attitude," said Rahim, stressing on the need for improvement in all facets of the game.