Shakib rues lack of runs at the top
While skipper Shakib Al Hasan pointed to the inability of putting on a big opening stand as one of the reasons behind his team's 21-run defeat against Sri Lanka in their crucial Super Four encounter, the performance in yesterday's match practically summed up Bangladesh's inconsistent batting performance throughout the Asia Cup.
Poor shot-selection and lack of responsibility shown by the batters was the highlight of the Bangladesh innings once again as the Tigers brought their own downfall despite Mehedi Hasan Miraz and Naim Sheikh getting the team off to a decent start with a 55-run opening stand in chase of 258.
"Chasing 260 (258) runs on that wicket, we needed partnership at the start. Though we got to fifty, we needed an 80-or-100-run partnership. Then we could have chased such a target because there was help for the bowlers, especially the spinners and seamers as well. Our top four didn't get enough runs and we didn't bowl well at the start," Shakib said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Bangladesh lost four wickets for 28 runs in nine overs to go from 55 for none to 83 for four before Hridoy and Mushfiqur Rahim steadied the ship for a while.
But once again the experienced Mushfiqur threw his wicket away after scoring 29 runs off 48 balls and ending a promising 72-run fifth-wicket stand, Bangladesh's hopes of a victory virtually rested on the shoulders of Hridoy.
The young man then fought a lone battle before being dismissed for 82 off 97 balls, striking seven fours and a six but it always proved to be a tough ask with a fragile tail.
"He (Towhid Hridoy) batted really well; he played in the LPL (Lanka Premier League) here and he had a good tournament and I think that gave him the confidence. If he could stay there a bit longer... but you know that happens. There are lot of ifs and buts we can talk about. I thought Sri Lanka played better than us and that's why they are the winners," Shakib said.
Bangladesh had done a decent job after electing to bowl first, with the three pacers picking up eight wickets. But according to Shakib, right-hander Sadeera Samarawickrama's blistering 72-balls 93 took the game away from the Tigers.
"I thought it was a good toss to win. At the start we didn't bowl particularly well. I thought there were lot of help for the bowlers but we couldn't get the wicket. Credit should go to Sri Lanka for the way they handled the new ball. But from there on, we came back really strong but the way Sadeera (Samarawickrama) played, he took the game away from us," opined Shakib.