Bangladesh had their moments in the game but it was Sri Lanka who emerged winners in the Super 12s encounter in Sharjah on Sunday. Bangladesh posted a sizeable total on the board batting first but failed to defend it later thanks to a sensational batting performance from Sri Lanka's Charith Asalanka.
Bangladesh were in a commendable position when Shakib Al Hasan sent back Pathum Nissanka and Avishka Fernando in quick succession. But they couldn't sustain the pressure and missed opportunities on the field also hurt them big time.
"I thought 171 could be defended. Liton and Naim gave us a very good start. Naim held the innings. Mushfiq played a brilliant innings. We were in the game till the tenth over. But things went wrong for us after that. We will correct that in the next game," Bangladesh skipper Mahmudullah said.
Mushfiqur Rahim, who scored an unbeaten 57, thinks Litton's dropped catches were crucial because of the timing.
"Litton's dropped catches were crucial. He is usually a very good fielder, so it was a bit unexpected. If it was from me, it might not have shocked this. But he is a good fielder. And that time was also very important," said Mushfiq in the post-match press conference.
Tigers made a tactical change by bringing in Nasum Ahmed in place of Taskin Ahmed to strengthen the spin department. But the move didn't quite work as Nasum, despite taking two wickets, was slightly expensive. Mahmudullah hoped that this match would give a lot of confidence to the batting unit going forward.
"We watched the IPL games and thought an extra spinner would help. The spinners bowled well but we missed a couple of chances. This game will boost up our batting unit and we are looking forward to the next game," mentioned he.
Asalanka, who was unbeaten on a match-winning 49-ball-80, said that the pitch was pretty good to bat on. "When I faced the first ball, it looked like a good pitch and I backed myself to play my natural game," he said.
"I'm happy to play a winning knock for my country. I am very happy right now. My friends back home will be very happy right now, they always back me," added Asalanka.
The southpaw also lauded Bhanuka Rajapaksa for the support he provided in the 86-run partnership between them.
Sri Lanka had never chased as many as 172 successfully in World Cups before this match and someone had to step up and play aggressively. Asalanka was the man for them and their captain Dasun Shanaka was all praises for him. "It was not the easiest target to chase but once batters are set, any target can be chased. It was an outstanding innings from Asalanka. It's very important that youngsters step up at this stage, it was really nice to see that," he stated.
Bangladesh still have four matches to play and they will try to bag a win when they face England in their next match in the tournament on Wednesday at the Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.