• Wednesday, Jan 29, 2020
  • Last Update : 05:52 am

Mashrafe denies Tigers lacked focus

  • Published at 10:30 am September 21st, 2018
Afghan cricketer Rashid Khan (2R) celebrates with teammate Rahmat Shah (2L) and wicketkeeper Mohammad Shahzad (L) after he dismissing Bangladesh batsman Mehidy Hasan Miraz during their one day international (ODI) Asia Cup cricket match at The Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday AFP

Bangladesh were all out for a humiliating 119 to give rise to discussions as to whether the side were lacking in focus

Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza said the huge defeat against Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi has hampered the momentum, and might affect the Tigers’ campaign in the rest of the tournament. 

Bangladesh had a casual intention while playing the Afghans in a dead-rubber last group stage match at the Asia Cup Thursday. 

In order to save energy of the players due to back-to-back matches, Bangladesh had rested key members of the team, including Mushfiqur Rahim and Mustafizur Rahman, and brought on two debutants.

However, the 136-run defeat while chasing 256 at Sheikh Abu Zayed Cricket Stadium was rather below-par and is being thought to affect the morale of the Tigers, who have been dealing with injury worries. 

Bangladesh in their first Super Four phase game take on India at Dubai International Cricket Stadium Friday.

“Given what has happened, of course it is tough to move forward. The very important matches of the tournament will start from [Friday]. Of course, it would have been better if we could have held onto the momentum. Now instead of thinking about what has happened, since there is very little time before the next match, I think we should recover as much as possible and take the field [Friday] with a positive mindset,” said Mashrafe at the post-match conference in Abu Dhabi Thursday.

Bangladesh were in the game till the 40th over of Afghanistan’s innings. 

The Tigers’ bowling attack, featuring eight bowlers with the intention of not burning out ahead of a crucial fixture, had the situation under control. 

Until Rashid Khan stepped into the middle in the 41st over. 

Rashid, batting at No 9, partnered Gulbadin Naib in an unbroken 95-run eighth-wicket stand and stole the show from Bangladesh. 

Later, Bangladesh were all out for a humiliating 119 to give rise to discussions as to whether the side were lacking in focus.

“I don’t think the focus was less. We wanted to win and I think up to the 40th over we were in good shape. Then they took off. I think we could have done things better, especially starting with the line-up. And I obviously did not hope for the batting line-up to collapse the way they did. Overall they completely outplayed us from the 40th over onwards. We have to improve for [Friday’s] match so that it doesn’t happen again,” Mashrafe explained.