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Tigers return to country after Asia Cup mission

The Bangladesh national cricket team returned to the country today after completing their Asia Cup mission.Bangladesh secured two victories in the tournament-one against Afghanistan in the group phase and the last one against India in their last match of the Super Four phase.Before that victory against India, Bangladesh was eliminated from the race of the final, following their seven-wicket and 21-run defeat to Pakistan and Sri Lanka respectively.Coming to play the tournament with high expectation, they stumbled at the very beginning when they suffered a five-wicket defeat to an injury-depleted Sri Lanka.However an 89-run win against Afghanistan paved their way to the Super Four.Their performance in the first two matches in Super Four was below par but against India, they showed what they are capable of. Bangladesh came up with six changes in contrast of India’s five changes in the match which went down to the wire.Bangladesh held the nerve and showed the mental strength to finally seal the deal by only six runs.Captain Shakib Al Hasan, who was instrumental in the victory with a superb all-round performance that saw him scoring 80 runs and taking one wicket for 43 runs in 10 overs said a victory against India will be a mental boost for them ahead of the World Cup.The victory indeed made him confident that the Tigers will be a dangerous team in the World Cup.”A lot of players injured and some going in and out, that didn’t help us (during Asia Cup). I think we will be a dangerous side in the World Cup (if we can put up performance like this),” Shakib said during the post-match presentation after beating India in the thriller.Later head coach Chandika Hathurusingha echoed the captain’s sentiment, saying Bangladesh got the mental boost for the World Cup.”The victory, no doubt, will boost us mentally ahead of the World Cup. Today was the day when we came up with the performance that we wanted to show throughout the tournament. But it didn’t happen in the last two matches.”Bangladesh hardly gets any rest as they would have to gear up for the three-match ODI series against New Zealand at home. The matches are scheduled to be held on September 21, 23 and 26 at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.The BCB is yet to announce the squad for the series but Shakib earlier hinted that some of the players, who had already cemented their place for the World Cup, could be rested, keeping the injury concern in the mind. Shakib also himself may skip one or two matches.

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