Mashrafe defends the decision to give Mustafizur the penultimate over

The finals of Asia Cup have once again left Bangladesh heartbroken as they lost a last-ball thriller against India. And after losing the game so closely some of Bangladesh’s tactics came under the radar. One such decision was to bowl Mustafizur Rahman the second-last over when the team didn’t have a front-line bowler to bowl the final over. However, skipper Mashrafe Mortaza has defended this decision by offering an explanation.

Image credits @ Associated Press

Why Mahmudullah and not Mustafizur for the final over?

After the 48th over, India needed nine runs to win and Bangladesh had only one over from Mustafizur Rahman, their death over specialist bowler. Importantly all other front-line bowlers had bowled out which meant, Bangladesh had to get one over from a part-time bowler as well.

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Mortaza played the gamble and used Mustafizur in the penultimate over and asked Mahmudullah to bowl the final over.

The skipper explained the reason behind this decision. He said that it was important to bowl Mustafizur in the 49th over, because India was scoring every ball and hence couldn’t introduce a spinner at that stage.

Fizz does the job for the captain

And Mustazifur Rahman did exactly what was expected from him in the 49th over. He sent back Bhuvneshwar Kumar on the first ball to create panic in the Indian camp and conceded just three runs in the next five balls.

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He somehow kept Bangladesh alive in the battle and offered a cushion of six runs for the part-timer in the final over.

Mahmudullah, however, proved inefficient against the mighty cool Kedar Jadhav and the handy Kuldeep Yadav who got India home on the final ball of the innings.