‘Everything was all right till last three balls’ – Mashrafe
Mashrafe Mortaza has rallied around the batsmen who took Bangladesh close, but lost their wickets as a win against India was within their grasp. Mushfiqur Rahim hit successive fours in the final over to leave his team needing two runs to win, off three balls. But both he and Mahmudullah holed out to midwicket in consecutive deliveries, transforming Bangladesh’s strong position into a weak one.
“I am not going to blame anyone,” Mashrafe said. “The whole dressing-room felt disappointed after the loss. We needed two off the last three balls, and we had two set batsmen at the crease and one still in the shed. It becomes very hard for everyone when we end up losing three wickets in that situation.”
Mashrafe conceded that Mushfiqur could have batted more sensibly, but refused to cast aspersions on his behaviour. Having brought the equation to two from three balls with a four, Mushfiqur celebrated the shot animatedly as he approached bowler Hardik Pandya – who himself had been animated when he took the catch of Mithun Ali earlier in the innings.
“If we were calculative at that stage, it wouldn’t have given us much risk. There were no fielders in the circle. If we had taken a single [off the delivery that Mushfiqur got out], it would have set us up in a better position. It would have helped if we thought like that. We just couldn’t do it that way.
“Mushfiqur could have been more careful, but at the same time, since he got us close – maybe he celebrated because of that. There’s nothing to be negative about, because any batsman would get boosted up after those two fours.”
Mashrafe did describe the loss as something that would be hard to swallow though. Bangladesh have lost all three games in the Super 10s stage of the tournament so far, and have one more match against Australia, after which they will head home.
“The loss was a shocking thing for all of us. Nobody wants to lose like this. It is hard to explain but it is quite disappointing. And it’s always difficult to take something from it. Being a professional player, we have to play hard cricket in the last match. If we can do something there we can take something back home. We have to fight hard.”
Bangladesh had done well until that stage however. India were strong favourites to win the match in front of a baying home crowd, but were outplayed in large sectors of the match.
“Leave out the last three balls, we played brilliantly. We did everything to win otherwise. We came back after they had two good overs towards the end. We played well at nearly every moment.”
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo’s Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo