Bangladesh lost the final by 79 runs © AFP
Bangladesh lost the final by 79 runs © AFP

Bangladesh stormed into the final of the tri-nation series versus Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. Yes, they lost the match in the run-up against Lanka, but were favourites for the summit clash. Put into bowl, Bangladesh restricted Sri Lanka for a modest score of 221 for 8. In pursuit of 222, they lost all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan’s services due to finger injury in the first innings. It came as a big setback, and Bangladesh lost the plot completely with the bat. As a result, they folded for 141.

After the 79-run loss, skipper Mashrafe Mortaza played down Shakib’s absence as an ‘excuse’, but hinted that it changed the momentum of the match. “I wouldn’t use it as an excuse when chasing 220-odd runs. When he fell, we were sure he wouldn’t be playing. We saw his hand. We knew it wasn’t possible for him to bat, so we had asked the others not to think about it. Everyone is disappointed in the dressing room. We expected to win having come this far,” stated Mortaza.

Mortaza blames lack of support for Mahmudullah led to the final outcome

“Shakib may have come out to bat in that situation. Mushfiqur (Rahim) got out after getting set. In addition, he (Mahmudullah) needed support at the other end. He was the last man out. He had to play shots. If he got support from the middle order, he could have taken the chase deeper. In the Champions Trophy, he rotated the strike with Shakib. But playing shots and picking singles, all of it can’t be one batsman’s work,” added Mortaza.

On Sri Lanka’s short ball-ploy, Mortaza revealed that the team were aware of their strategy but failed in execution.

“We have known in the last 8-10 days that they were bowling short. We have also spoken about it. But we cannot develop skills over 7 days. One has to be mentally prepared. We talked about handling that length. We had the homework but we couldn’t deliver it,” concluded Mortaza.

Bangladesh folded for 141 courtesy debutant right-arm pacer Shehan Madushanka. He became the fourth bowler in history to claim a hat-trick in his first ODI.