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Strauss demands England response

ICC Cricket World Cup 2011

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Andrew Strauss

Captain Andrew Strauss looks on in frustration as England slide to a disappointing two-wicket defeat against Bangladesh in Chittagong

Captain Andrew Strauss urged England to move on quickly from their shock two-wicket defeat to Bangladesh in Chittagong.

Mahmudullah and Shafiul Islam shared an unbroken ninth-wicket stand of 58 to see the hosts over the line and leave England with work to do if they are to reach the quarter-finals.

It appears likely that victory will be required against West Indies if England are to progress and Strauss is aware they must improve on today’s below-par showing.

“We’re very disappointed,” he admitted. “This is a real missed opportunity for us but you can’t dwell on it for too long, you have to look forward.

“If defeats didn’t hurt you wouldn’t be playing this game. You need to channel that frustration and make sure you channel it in the right way and come out and beat the next side you play against. It’s a big game for us (against West Indies) and we have to win it.”

Half-centuries from Jonathan Trott and Eoin Morgan helped England to 225 after they had been put in to bat at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, and Bangladesh appeared to have blown their chance of success when they slumped to 169 for eight in reply, with Ajmal Shahzad claiming three wickets.

However, Mahmudullah and Shafiul kept the hosts’ own quarter-final hopes alive with a defiant partnership, leaving Strauss with plenty to ponder.

“We wanted to win this game and win it well," he added. "We struggled a little bit with the bat, although I thought 225 was a competitive total. We needed to bowl and field well and didn’t do that as well as we would have liked.

“Losing those three wickets quite early was a big mistake for us and also our bowling with the new ball could have been a lot better than it was.

"But we fought hard, we got ourselves into a position to win the game and we weren’t able to put the final nail in the coffin."

England’s bowlers, particularly off-spinner Graeme Swann, were hampered by dew at a venue hosting its first day-night match.

Ajmal Shahzad

On a day of few positives for England, Strauss was able to praise the performance of Ajmal Shahzad, pictured, who claimed three wickets

“There was a 20-over period where it was very, very bad,” said Strauss.

“Graeme Swann 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.”

Swann’s frustration appeared to get the better of him as he exchanged words with umpire Daryl Harper.

Strauss added: "He (Swann) felt he had a big role to play in the game, and for a period there we had to take him off until later on when he could grip it.

"It was frustrating for him, and all of us, that the ball got as wet as it did. But those are the conditions we encountered.

“I think Graeme was asking to change the ball. I wasn’t there so didn’t hear what was said between the two of them. But once the exchange happened I told Graeme to calm down and get on with it - and he did so.”

England were aware the ball would get wet after nightfall, having practised here under lights this week.

“We knew it was going to dew up,” said Strauss. “Obviously that was a big consideration at the toss for both sides. The dew makes reverse-swing a lot harder as well.

“It seems slightly strange to have the first ever day-nighter at a certain ground in a World Cup. So perhaps lessons can be learned there.”

Strauss was able to take heart from Morgan’s assured 63 on his return to the side following a broken finger.

“He played brilliantly,” Strauss said. "He took the game to the opposition at a time when it might have been difficult for us to do that. He’s very good against the spin in the middle overs so hopefully there’s more to come from him.

“Ajmal Shahzad bowled really well there at the end, so those are two positives for us, but they weren’t enough.

“But that is one-day cricket. Fair play to the guys at the end there - they played very well and got Bangladesh over the line in an important game of cricket.”

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