Bangladesh skipper Mashrafee bin Murtaza defended their decision of fielding eight batsmen in the team against England during their first match of the Champions Trophy at the Oval on Thursday.
Bangladesh scored 305-6 thanks to a 128-run innings of Tamim Iqbal but England chased down the score losing just two wickets and 16 balls to spare.
Bangladesh seemed to take defensive strategy by filling the sides with eight batsmen and allowed only three seamers and all-rounder Sakib al Hasan as the only spinner that thinned their attack but Mashrafee batted for the decision.
‘Yes, obviously with eight batters, we are in a great position to score 330, 340. But we couldn›t,’ said Mashrafee after the match at a press conference.
‘We lost too many wickets in the late order. From 40, 42, we start losing wickets, and really no one could go through.
‘But we couldn›t really go through that seven, six, seven overs, and I think we are 20 to 30 runs short, especially that sort of wicket,’ he added.
Despite a record breaking 166-run stand between Tamim and Mushfiqur Rahim Bangladesh lost the way losing them in consecutive deliveries and could add only 44 runs in last six overs.
Mashrafee said they took the decision of fielding eight batsmen in the side to give the batters some extra freedom.
‘Yeah, always you knew that,’ Mashrafee defended the decision of picking eight batsmen and added ‘but the thing was that to get an extra bit of freedom to two batters, the batters can respond themselves a little bit better.’
Having defended the decision the skipper, however, said that their failure of picking up regular wickets also was a big reason for their defeat after posting over 300 runs on the board.
‘Yeah, I think so,’ replied Mashrafee when he was asked whether they thought 305 was a good score to defend. ‘I mean, that›s why -- but still, I think in the middle patches, we couldn›t get any wickets, that›s also a point,’ said the skipper, who gave an early breakthrough before England sealed the match with two big partnerships.
Mashrafee also induced his counterpart Eoin Morgan to loft the ball in the midwicket where Tamim Iqbal seemed to grab the ball centimetres off the ground and rejoiced but the umpires turned down the catch.
The field umpires gave soft signal of not out before the third umpires turned down the appeal of Tamim, who looked furious and showed his discontent to umpires, but Mashrafee decided not to make any comment regarding the issue.
‘We haven›t seen yet. We just came out from the field. But you know, at the end of the day, the call is final. So we can›t make any call,’ Mashrafee said.
Bangladesh were expected to face difficult condition and the pressure of home crowd but in the gallery the supporters of Tigers almost outnumbered the hosts with their presence and exuberance and the skipper highly thanked them for their support.
‘Yes, I know in London, a lot of Bangladeshis, so we knew that they will come and support us. Not only here, we get a lot of support in the last World Cup. And even wherever, last year, we played in Ireland, we get the same sort of support. But a lot of Bangladeshis lives here and we knew that they could come.
‘Pity we couldn›t go through today, but thanks to them that they come and support us.’
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