Having seen his team put up a spirited fight in the Asia Cup 2018 final against India on Friday, September 28, Bangladeshi Captain Mashrafe Mortaza has expressed immense satisfaction with the way his team competed against the Rohit Sharma led Indian Cricket Team and said that his men should feel proud of themselves for almost pulling one over the much more fancied opponent on the big night.
After being bowled out for 222 in 49.3 overs, purely on the back of a high quality 121-run knock from opener Liton Das, Bangladesh didn't give up even when the result looked like a foregone conclusion versus the might of the strong Indian batting line up. They made India earn each and every run in the chase through immaculate line and lengths with the ball and highly disciplined fielding.
In the end though, the lack of an adequate target on the board and a proper fifth bowling option eventually came to the fore as Mashrafe's tactically sound and inspiring leadership couldn't quite mask the frailties of his unit and India reached the target off the last ball of the innings to win the title.
In line with this, although Mashrafe is happy with the way his side fought, he knows how much it needs to improve.
"The boys should feel proud but at the same time I think we have to learn so many things," he said after the match, "Bowlers have done a really good job this tournament, every time batters score more than 240, we won the match." and added, "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."
On failing to finish off another close final in a marquee multi-team event, Mashrafe reflected, "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." and said before signing off, "I hope we won a lot of hearts,"
(Inputs from ICC)