Asia Cup 2018: Mashrafe Mortaza wants boys to feel proud after fighting display in final
It was expected to be a walk in the park for the Indians after the bowlers restricted Bangladesh to just 222 in the final of the Asia Cup. But the Bangladesh bowlers showed a lot of heart as India managed to win the game off the last ball with just 3 wickets in the bag. Skipper Mashrafe Mortaza accepted that his side needed to make improvements, but he also said that he was proud of the fight they put up.
“The boys should feel proud but at the same time I think we have to learn so many things. We fought till the last ball, but we made a lot of mistakes on the field today — batting and bowling. I hope we won a lot of hearts. Obviously the team can be proud, but we have to move forward from here... Boys did a very good job without two key members from the side in Shakib and Tamim,” he said.
Commenting on his plans while defending the total, Mortaza said: “We asked the batsmen to make at least 260, but at the end of the day the bowlers did really well. I wanted to bowl the quicks first, because I wanted to restrict the runs since they were going after us and trying to play shots at that stage. I wanted to leave the last over for Nazmul or Mahmudullah. I thought if the pacers bowled well from 45th over, then there was a good chance that there would be about 10 runs to defend in the last over. Bowlers have done a really good job this tournament, every time batters score more than 240, we won the match.”
The collapse in the batting after openers Liton Das and Mehidy Hasan put on 120 for the opening wicket is something that hurt Bangladesh and the skipper feels that one cannot let the advantage slip in such situations. “Everytime we play this kind of tournament, we’re struggling somewhere. Today we had a good start (with the bat) but couldn’t go through. Even if you look at the last three-four matches, we lost so many wickets early but still we managed to score 240-250,” he rued.