Shakib apologises for Bangladesh’s World Cup exit

2011-03-19 12:14

Dhaka – Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan apologised to his nation’s cricket-crazy fans after the Tigers crashed out of the World Cup in disgrace today.

Bangladesh were shot out for 78 by South Africa to lose their last league match by 206 runs in front of 25 000 stunned home fans at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium and millions watching on TV across the country.

“Our fans deserved more,” Shakib said after Bangladesh finished with six points in Group B, just above minnows Ireland and the Netherlands.

“The expectations were high among our people because we had played so well over the past 12 months, but we let them down.

“We have not played good cricket at the World Cup and I feel very sorry for our fans. They deserved much more that what we gave them.”

Lonwabo Tsotsobe grabbed 3-14 on his World Cup debut and Robin Peterson took 4-12 after half-centuries from Jacques Kallis and Faf du Plessis had lifted South Africa to 284-8.

Bangladesh’s batting fell apart in a match they had to win to qualify for the quarterfinals from Group B.

Shakib made 30 but none of the other 10 batsmen reached double figures as Bangladesh almost matched their lowest one-day total of 58 against the West Indies earlier in the tournament.

“There is no other reason for our failure than bad batting,” the captain said. “We did not bat well the tournament.

“We should probably have given away 20 runs less, but the match was over once we lost four wickets quickly. You can’t find excuses once you are bowled out for 78.”

Shakib said the pressure of living up to everyone’s expectations got to the team.

“This was a pressure match for us. We knew we had to win. The team just could not take the pressure,” he said.

The emphatic win not only cemented South Africa’s place as Group B winners with 10 points, but carried India and England into the quarterfinals with the West Indies taking the last spot.

Bangladesh ended the league with six points, the same as the West Indies, but their run rate is so poor that even a massive win by India over Darren Sammy’s men tomorrow will not help.

Shakib conceded he was not looking for miracles any more.

“We have no chance of qualifying because our run rate is so low,” he said. “The way we have batted, we probably do not deserve to be in the quarterfinals.”

Tsotsobe, who was given a chance only because pace spearheads Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel were rested ahead of the bigger matches, seized the opportunity in style.

Shakib said South Africa were good enough to go far in the tournament.

“They have a very good pace attack and good spinners, and their batting runs deep,” he said. “It is a fine all-round side and the way they have been playing they could go to the final.”

Kallis mastered the slow wicket to hit five boundaries and a six in his ninth World Cup half-century, sharing a fourth wicket stand of 82 with Du Plessis.

The duo laid the platform for a late assault that saw the lower order batsmen smash 92 runs in the last 10 overs.

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