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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 October 2018

Bangladesh upset at runners-up role in Asia Cup - despite fact they can still win Group B

Team will get fixtures for Super Four assigned to finish second in Group B, even though they still can top standings by beating Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi

Bangladesh's captain Mashrafe Mortaza, third left, is not happy his side have been assigned the role of runner-up in Group B, even though they can still win the group. AP Photo
Bangladesh's captain Mashrafe Mortaza, third left, is not happy his side have been assigned the role of runner-up in Group B, even though they can still win the group. AP Photo

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza has criticised the “disappointing” decision by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) to announce fixtures for the Super Four stages of the Asia Cup that have his side qualifying second from Group B - despite the fact they can still win the group.

The ACC released the schedule for the Super Four on Tuesday, despite games remaining in both Groups A and B.

It had already been revealed that India would be treated as winners of Group A in the Super Four, playing all their games in Dubai, even if they had finished as runners-up to Pakistan.

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But Mortaza said Bangladesh were surprised to discover that they have been given the runner-up in Group B’s fixtures, despite the fact that if they beat Afghanistan on Thursday in Abu Dhabi they would actually finish top of the standings.

“They have made us the second team in Group B even before we played the last game, and that’s very disappointing,” Mortaza said after a training session at the ICC Academy in Dubai on Wednesday.

“We came here with a plan. We would play Sri Lanka first and if we won and played well we would be group champions and play the runner up of Group A.

“But this morning we were told that we are already Group B runners up regardless of whether we win or lose tomorrow. It’s was so frustrating to hear that.”

The negative for Bangladesh of being classed as runners-up is that having finished playing on Thursday evening against Afghanistan they then must be up in Dubai by Friday lunchtime to face India in their first Super Four game.

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Afghanistan on the other hand will remain in Abu Dhabi and will play Pakistan in their first Super Four game tomorrow.

Both Bangladesh and Afghanistan clinched their spots by beating Sri Lanka.

Shir Agha Hamkar, the Afghanistan team manager, believes history and momentum is with his side.

Afghanistan emerged 3-0 winners when the two teams last met in a One-Day International series in Bangladesh in June.

“With that result, the pressure will be on them,” said Hamkar. “We have played only one game and won.

“It was a very creditable performance from the team to defeat Sri Lanka. We couldn’t have wished for a better start and that win was another huge confidence booster.

“We want to win every game we play. By qualifying for the Super Four, we have achieved our first objective.

“We now want to win every game, perhaps, the Asia Cup itself.”