Ireland still think they are on par with TigersAzad Majumder . Belfast
Ireland may have lost to Bangladesh 3-0 in the recently-concluded three-match Twenty20 series, but they still belong to the same group that of Bangladesh, said their coach Phil Simmons after Saturday’s two-wicket defeat in the last match.
‘I am a little bit with the result, yes,’ Simmons told New Age in Belfast. ‘I don’t think we are 3-0 down from Bangladesh, I don’t think we are that far from them in Twenty20 cricket.’
Ireland organised the series with a point to prove and Simmons believes despite defeat in all the matches they have done enough. They lost the first game by 71 runs, but came back strongly to give Bangladesh a good run for their money, something which their West Indian coach said is an encouraging sign for his side.
The hosts nearly upset Bangladesh in the second game, but their nerve got the better of them as the tourists eked out a one-run win. The third encounter was equally competitive and could have easily gone either way.
‘In a way our point is proved because we lost two games on the last ball, so we have shown that we can compete with Bangladesh,’ said Simmons.
‘I think yesterday [Friday] it was more of an experience than anything else that made the difference,’ said Simmons. ‘The guys who bowled at the end knew what to do and the last two
overs from Mahmudullah were brilliant,’ Simmons said of second match.
‘Today [Saturday] couple of catches and one bad over [cost us the game] and that’s the nature of Twenty20. One over, three sixes, and you pulled back in the game, which we had in our hand,’ he said.
Simmons added the experience that the Bangladeshi players gained from different domestic Twenty20 tournaments, including the Bangladesh Premier League, have helped them a lot.
‘It makes a huge difference, because the more you play the more you get to understand your game, you know what you bring to the team and I think that’s the whole point about it,’ he said.
‘The BPL has helped Bangladesh cricket in the format of Twenty20 with the players knowing how they think about it, so it makes a big difference,’ said Simmons.
The former West Indies batsman is a familiar opponent of Bangladesh having coached Zimbabwe for few years before he took charge of the Irish side.
He has lost to Bangladesh by clear margins both as Zimbabwe and Ireland coach and from that experience Simmons said the current Bangladesh side is a fitter and stronger unit.
‘I think they look a fitter team, look fitter and stronger individually, particularly their fielding which has improved a lot since I was with Zimbabwe,’ said Simmons.
‘Still we are all small teams and we need to keep on improving on everything – batting , bowling and fielding – everything has to improve to play with the big boys, they have to keep working on every aspects,’ he said.
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