BIRMINGHAM, England, (Reuters) – Bangladesh found India a step too far in the Champions Trophy semi-final on Thursday, losing by nine wickets with nearly ten overs to spare, and skipper Mashrafe Mortaza said they needed to toughen up mentally.
Bangladesh made 264 for seven in their 50 overs but then never came close to worrying India’s impressive upper order batsmen.
It was the first time that the Tigers had reached the last four of a major tournament but Mortaza was in no mood for self-congratulation.
“Yeah, obviously the boys should feel pride, but I think in a tournament like this, you have to be, I think, physically or skill-wise at your peak,” he said.
“Yes, we are coming up still. We need to learn so many things. But I think we need to be a little bit more ready mentally for playing this sort of match.”
There was no sign of lack of focus from Tamim Iqbal (70) or Mushfiqur Rahim (61) as they put on a third wicket partnership of 123.
But both were removed playing wild shots to occasional off-spinner Kedar Jadhav and their departure led to a major loss of momentum.
The weakest part of Bangladesh’s performance was with the ball where, not only did they only pick up one wicket, but they failed to put any real pressure on India.
“We have to learn a bit more, how to stop runs on that sort of wicket. We can’t just be hoping to take wickets all the time, especially against a batting order like India. So I know we have to learn a little bit more how can we stop runs and put pressure on the opponent,” Mortaza said.
While there is plenty of room for improvement, the final group stage win over New Zealand will remain as a highlight of the tournament for Bangladesh.