Mortaza hopes to put it across India

Having led his team into the final, Mashrafe Mortaza (right) will look to scalp India in the final for Bangladesh's maiden Asia Cup title. AFP

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza says his injury-struck side will have to improve considerably in all departments to challenge India in the Asia Cup final here on Friday.

Bangladesh stunned Pakistan by 37 runs in the last Super Four match on Wednesday night to set up a summit clash against defending champions India.

Mushfiqur Rahim's valiant 99 and Mohammad Mithun's 60 lifted Bangladesh to a decent 239 all out from a precarious position after Mortaza opted to bat in the virtual semifinal on Wednesday night.

Mushfiqur was unlucky as he fell one short of what could have been his seventh ODI century but did enough to rescue Bangladesh with a 144-run fourth wicket stand with Mithun after they were reduced to 12 for three inside five overs.

Later, opener Imam-ul-Haq (83) turned out to be the lone bright spot for Pakistan as they faltered in pursuit of the modest chase and were restricted to 202 for nine.

"We always know that India are a serious side and the number one side the world. We still need to improve a bit of our batting and bowling," Mortaza said after the match.

"We will be missing Shakib (Al Hasan) and Tamim (Iqbal) but the boys have showed character and one match to go, and hopefully the boys will play hard," he added.

Praising his team for the crucial win, Mortaza said: "The bowlers did a good job, especially when we didn't get the runs. I think we changed our combination a bit. Usually I open the bowling, but today we started with (Mehidy Hasan) Miraz.

"Mushi (Mushfiqur Rahim) and (Mohammad) Mithun batted really well."

Mortaza's blinder of a catch at mid-wicket to dismiss Shoaib Malik off Rubel Hossain's bowling in the 21st over was one of the turning points of the match.

"I was lucky that I didn't drop my catch, because Shoaib Malik was in such good form, but overall the fielding was really good," Mortaza said.

"Long time we haven't seen this quality of fielding in our team, so hopefully the boys can understand the value of good fielding."

Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed took the blame for his side's loss after they ended with a score of 202 for 9 while chasing 240 to win.

"Not feeling good, the performance wasn't good. As a captain, I didn't do well. So I think as a team and as a captain, I didn't lead well," Sarfraz said.

"We didn't field well, our batting collapsed and as a team we didn't do well in any department."

 

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Mortaza hopes to put it across India

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