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Ashraful regrets missed chances PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Sport Correspondent

Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful rued the missed opportunities to put South Africa on the back foot in the first Warid Test in Mirpur that has now turned the visitors' way completely.

South Africa need only 27 runs to complete victory with six wickets in hand, though they struggled at certain stages of the game especially after conceding a first inning lead.

'Not so often do we get these types of opportunities, maybe once or twice in a year. Maybe it is one of the reasons for us to break down at crucial stages,' lamented Ashraful.

'We can overcome the problem if only we play regularly and create the situation more often. Otherwise it is difficult,' said Ashraful after the Tigers were all out for 182 in the second innings to set a mere 205-run winning target for South Africa.

Ashraful however believed they lost more chances in the first innings than the second one despite winning a crucial toss and having a good pitch to bat on.

'As our coach said previously, we were at least 100 runs short in the first innings. 'The wicket was than perfect for batting, but we could not exploit it,' said the middle-order batsman. 'In the second innings we were going according to our plan, especially in the morning.

Junaed and Aftab were batting in the way we wanted to them. But all of a sudden we lost six wickets to add only 34 runs. 'Of course there were some good deliveries especially the ones that took Junaed and Aftab.

But definitely we would have liked to score a few more runs. 'And then luck also did not help us with the ball. Mashrafee came back very strongly in the second innings, but he was unlucky not to get wickets.

The way he bowled, he could have got three or four wickets,' pointed out Ashraful, who still believed the game was not finished yet. 'True that they now need only a few more runs to score.

But you never know what can happen in cricket. If Rajib (Shahadat) can strike a hat-trick or anyone else can pick a couple of quick wickets anything can happen,' said Ashraful.

'However, I believe it will be a very difficult job. As captain of the side I cannot give up the hope at any stage.'

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