Saturday 25 February 2017

Cricket: Strauss anger as England lose their grip

David Clough

England were "desperately disappointed" after a frustrating and bad-tempered night in Chittagong ended in a shock defeat to Bangladesh.

They must contemplate a week of worry before their final chance to earn a World Cup quarter-final place when they take on the West Indies on Thursday.

The first task, however, will be to restore morale after allowing a clear winning opportunity to slip from their dewy grasp as Mahmudullah and Shafiul Islam scrambled past 225 all out in an unbroken ninth-wicket stand of 58.

It all proved too much at one stage for Graeme Swann, who was unable to hold the drenched ball -- let alone impart any off-spin. He lost his temper and was heard to swear after one exchange with umpire Daryl Harper, forcing Andrew Strauss to intervene.

The England captain was unable to deploy Swann when he wanted, because of the dew effect at a venue hosting its first ever day-night match.

Important

"There was a 20-over period where it was very, very bad," said Strauss. "Graeme couldn't grip the ball at all. I think there's something not quite right if a spinner can't grip the ball in this part of the world, where spin plays such an important role.

"That was hard work for us, but it wasn't the reason we lost the game."

As for Swann's behaviour, Strauss added: "Graeme was obviously very frustrated, because the dew meant he couldn't grip the ball."

It is up to match referee Jeff Crowe to decide whether disciplinary action is in order.

England had earlier managed what Strauss felt was just a "par" score -- on the back of half-centuries from Jonathan Trott (67) and former Ireland star Eoin Morgan (63).

Imrul Kayes (60) then underpinned the chase until he ran himself out, and left plenty of hard work for the tail after Ajmal Shahzad (3-43) helped England take four wickets for 15 runs.

Irish Independent

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