Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza accepted that his side still had much to learn, but said they could bow out with pride after giving India a run for their money in the Asia Cup 2018 final.
Despite Liton Das’s masterful 117-ball 121, Bangladesh were shot out for just 222 in 49.3 overs. Yet their bowlers made India scrap hard, conceding the winning run only off the final delivery with just three wickets to spare.
Mortaza accepted that his side needed to make improvements, but 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,” he said.
“Bowlers have done a really good job this tournament, every time batters score more than 240, we won the match.
“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.”
One of the key aspects Bangladesh will want to work on is to better capitalise on strong platforms. In the final, Das and Mehidy Hasan put up a solid 120-run opening stand but a middle-order collapse allowed India to wrestle back the advantage.
“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.”
The defeat was Bangladesh’s second last-ball finish against India in a big final this year, having lost the Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka earlier. Yet, Mortaza took pride in how they competed. “I hope we won a lot of hearts,” he said.
The article originally appeared on ICC website