Cricket World Cup 2019

Bangladesh lose but still eye semis

LONDON • Bangladesh's inability to strike with the new ball cost the team dearly in their Cricket World Cup match against Australia, skipper Mashrafe Mortaza said after their 48-run loss on Thursday.

Bangladesh mounted a spirited chase in pursuit of a 382-run victory target at Trent Bridge, but finished on 333-8 for their third defeat in six matches.

David Warner, dropped at backward point when on 10, smashed 166 and featured in a 121-run opening stand with skipper Aaron Finch (53) to lay the foundation for Australia's imposing total of 381-5.

"We created a few chances, which we should have taken, especially against a big side, you have to take those 50-50 chances," Mashrafe said.

Warner and Finch saw off the first 20 overs without being separated, guiding Australia to 117 and both completing fifties.

Mashrafe reckoned it could have been completely different with an early breakthrough.

"I knew that we needed a wicket at that particular time. They knew if they don't lose wickets early, they can damage us. I think not picking a wicket was the main thing," he said.

Mushfiqur Rahim's unbeaten century and fifties by Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah fuelled Bangladesh's gallant charge but their second successive 300-plus total was not enough to upset the champions.

In their previous match, Bangladesh chased down a 322-run target against West Indies with 8.3 overs to spare but Mashrafe said it was unfair to expect the batsmen to do it every time.

"It's hard for the batters... 350 is always difficult," the all-rounder said.

Despite the loss, he refused to write off his side's chances of qualifying for the semi-finals. Bangladesh will play strugglers Afghanistan in Southampton on Monday.

"I think still you never know," Mashrafe told reporters.

"We have still three matches left. We have to play hard and then let's see. And it's going to be difficult for sure."

Only the top four at the end of the 10-team round-robin group phase will advance to the semi-finals and Thursday's defeat left Bangladesh, who have beaten both the West Indies and South Africa, in fifth place.



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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2019, with the headline 'Bangladesh lose but still eye semis'. Print Edition | Subscribe