Bangladesh Captain Tamim Iqbal was hugely disappointed by the seven-wicket defeat at the hands of Afghanistan in the third and final game, which also cost them valuable 10 points of the ICC ODI Super League.
A victory also would help Bangladesh to clean sweep the series for the first time against Afghanistan. But more than the sweep of the series, Tamim rued for these 10 points, which not only strengthened their position in the point table but also kept them far ahead of confirming the 2023 World Cup in India.
With the tougher series at away coming up, these 10 points were more important than any other thing to Tamim. Bangladesh though currently stay at the top of the ICC ODI Super League point table with 100 points.
"(I am) very disappointed by the defeat," Tamim said after the match.
"During the ODI championship, we were in a similar position against Sri Lanka and couldn't finish it. It happened again. We started well and lost the rhythm in the middle," he added.
Bangladesh opted to bat first after winning the toss and were in a favourable position despite losing Tamim early as Liton Das and Shakib Al Hasan kept the side going. After the dismissal of Shakib, Rashid Khan struck twice, dismissing Mushfiqur Rahim and Yasir Ali and it triggered a sensational collapse as Bangladesh lost the last six wickets including of Liton for just 39 runs. Liton top-scored for the side with 86.
"Liton Das got out at the wrong time. I probably thought this was the most important game in the series as it is about gaining as many points as possible. We were 100 for one, did the hard work but lost the wickets when the wicket got better," Tamim added.
Afghan opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz then made the victory a cake-walk, hitting a 110 ball-106 not out. Thanks to his calculative aggression, Afghanistan raced to the victory with 59 balls remaining. But Gurbaz innings was not flawless as he survived thrice on 60, 61 and 63 due to butter-fingered Bangladesh fielders. Mushfiqur Rahim alone missed his catch twice and Mahmudullah put down once. On three occasions, the luckless bowler was Shoriful Islam.
Tamim said the scenario could have been different had they not dropped Gurbaz.
"If we could hold on to the catch at least once, the scenario could have been different. But it can happen in the cricket game. Gurbaz really played a nice innings. He took the game away from us," he opined.