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Mashrafe: We’re proud, but have to move forward

  • Published at 10:08 am September 29th, 2018
Bangladesh
Bangladesh players celebrate the fall of an Indian wicket during the Asia Cup final in Dubai Friday AFP

This was also the third time Bangladesh lost a final to India, the other being the Asia Cup T20I 2016 finale in Dhaka

Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza believes his team have achieved enough from the just concluded Asia Cup in the UAE, despite losing the final at Dubai International Cricket Stadium Friday. 

Defending a total of just 222 runs, the Tigers had taken the game to the last ball of India’s chase, and lost by three wickets. 

For Bangladesh, the tournament was no less than a rollercoaster ride, having lost two key members in Tamim Iqbal and Shakib al Hasan to injuries. 

They also faced huge trouble managing the team combination due to injuries, as well as their energy owing to a hectic tournament fixture under the harsh Middle Eastern climate.

Despite the challenges, Bangladesh did not give up on their ambition of reaching the final of the six-nation tournament. 

Their way to the finale was uncongenial, namely the decision to send top-order batsman Imrul Kayes to bat at No 6, and promote late middle-order batsman Mehedi Hasan Miraz to open the batting with Liton Das. 

Perhaps the most praiseworthy effort was how the team managed themselves in the absence of their important members.

But glory was not meant for Bangladesh as they lost their sixth multi-nation tournament final, and second in almost six months. The last instance was the Nidahas Trophy 2018 final in Colombo, against India. 

This was also the third time Bangladesh lost a final to India, the other being the Asia Cup T20I 2016 finale in Dhaka.

“Boys should feel proud. I think we have to learn so many things. We are struggling somewhere or the other in these tournaments. [Friday] we made a good start but couldn’t go through. In the last few matches, we lost early wickets but managed to score 240-250. I think the bowlers did a good job in the tournament. We are proud but we have to move forward,” said a dejected Mashrafe to the media in Dubai Friday.

“I think they did a good job without two key members. Missing Shakib and Tamim was a big blow, but I think the boys have done a really good job. They made the best effort to fulfil their responsibilities,” the 34-year old added.

Middle-order collapse was the setback for Bangladesh on the day. 

Throughout the tournament, it was the middle-order that had steered the team towards victories after regular failures of the openers. 

However in the final, Bangladesh broke the opening jinx, sending Miraz to open with Liton. 

The gamble worked wonder as the duo posted 120 runs. 

Following the dismissal of Miraz though, in the 21st over, Bangladesh’s batting experienced a disastrous collapse, and finished with a comparatively low total.

“To be honest, we wanted a partnership when (Mahmdullah) Riyad and Mushfiqur Rahim were batting. We were 120 in the 21st over. If we had scored low-risk cricket for the next 14-15 overs, we could have added 60-70 runs for the loss of one wicket. Mushfiq couldn’t execute well. The run-outs also hurt. Intent doesn’t mean getting out playing big shots. You have to look after the batting following the good start. We should have scored 250-260 on this wicket,” said Mashrafe.