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Asia Cup: Mortaza goes easy on Shakib, says dropped catches part of game

Mirpur: Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza chose not to be harsh on senior player Shakib Al Hasan, who dropped Rohit Sharma's catch which proved costly in the final context of the Asia Cup opener as the hosts lost to India by a comprehensive margin of 45 runs.

Rohit was batting on 21 when Shakib dropped a straight forward chance at point off Taskin Ahmed's bowling. The Indian then took the game away with 83 off 55 balls.

Mashrafe Bin Mortaza (L) celebrates after the dismissal of Indian batsman Virat Kohli
Mashrafe Bin Mortaza (L) celebrates after the dismissal of Indian batsman Virat Kohli. Pic/ AFP

"Obviously Rohit's catch was the turning point. But these are part and parcel of a match. There will be dropped catches. Shakib is one of our best fielders. The reaction time was less. May be if Rohit got out earlier, we could have defended them around 135-140. Hardik batted well but it was Rohit who was the key as he batted till the 20th over," a dejected Mashrafe said at the post-match press conference.

Bangladesh's wonder boy Mustafizur Rahaman was off-colour and Mashrafe blamed it on dew, which made it difficult for the left-arm seamers to grip the ball properly.

"One of Mustafizur's slower delivery was mis-hit but it still went for six runs. I spoke to him and he said that his slow cutters are not gripping. Obviously, Indians had done their homework. We bowled well till the 15th over but our death bowling was not up to the mark," observed Mashrafe.

He also did not think that preparing a gree surface and loading his team with four pace bowlers was a decision that had backfired.

"The new ball swung a bit. We bowled well in the first six overs. Considering it was a grassy pitch, our spinners Shakib and Riyadh (Mahmudullah) also bowled well. The wicket was not devilish but it was difficult to pitch it up or bowl the length deliveries."

About batting, the Bangladesh skipper said lack of partnerships cost them dear. "We failed to build partnerships. The logic behind sending Imrul Kayes down the order was we wanted to maintain a left-right combination. That's why when Mithun (a right-hander) got out, we sent Sabbir and when left-hander Soumya was dismissed, we sent in Imrul."

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