Asia Cup 2018: Mashrafe Mortaza says his event winning moment was Tamim Iqbal walking in to bat with a broken wrist

Asia Cup 2018: Mashrafe Mortaza says his event winning moment was Tamim Iqbal walking in to bat with a broken wrist

Bangladesh take on India in the final of the Asia Cup.

Mashrafe Mortaza
Mashrafe Mortaza of Bangladesh celebrates a wicket. (Photo by Martin Hunter/Getty Images)

Bangladesh captain Mahsrafe Mortaza admitted that ‘his Asia Cup was won when veteran Bangladeshi opener Tamim Iqbal walked out to bat with one hand in the opening fixture of the Asia Cup. Tamim had fractured his left wrist during the game against Sri Lanka. However, he came back to the middle, holding the bat with just one hand to partner Mushfiqur Rahim.

Tamim was lauded for his show of bravery and determination. For a second time in a row, Bangladesh have qualified for the final of the Asia Cup. And once again they will face India in the all-important match. The final is scheduled to take place on Friday in Dubai and India will look to retain their title as Asian champions.

However, Bangladesh will be missing their dashing opener Tamim, who has been one of the key players behind the nation’s success in cricket. Besides Tamim, Bangladesh will also be without their seasoned all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan on Friday. There are also other premier players in the side who are playing with injurues: skipper Mashrafe Mortaza will be continuing to bowl with a broken finger, while wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim is playing with an injury.

But Mashrafe insisted that Tamim’s display of courage on the cricket field was a moment he will never forget. “Let me be honest, the moment Tamim entered the field against Sri Lanka as the last man to help Mushfiqur score those runs, my Asia Cup was won,” Mortaza was quoted as saying at the pre-match press conference.

Previous India-Bangladesh encounters in the Asia Cup

In 2016, Bangladesh lost to India in the final of the Asia Cup. In a game reduced to 15 overs, the Tigers put up a total of 120 in the first innings. India, however, got there with 7 balls to spare and registered a convincing 8-wicket victory.

Bangladesh have also lost to India in the Super 4 phase of this edition of the Asia Cup. When asked if they have made notes from their previous encounters against India,  Mashrafe said, “Every tournament has been a distinct journey whether 2012 final against Pakistan or 2016 against India. Every time we encountered a few situations, overcame them and got into the finals.

“This journey in this tournament was a difficult one as we started losing players from the very first game (Tamim Iqbal). There was also concern whether Mushfiqur Rahim could play or not but then he played despite not being fully fit. We can learn from him.”

“I think India is a far better team, they are number one in the world, they came here as the favourites, but then you never know, anything can happen. So, we will have to be mentally strong and fight till the last ball. It’s important to keep our emotion in check,” he concluded.

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