We have learnt a lot, says Afghanistan skipper Asghar
Asia Cup 2018 is a great learning curve for Afghanistan players, skipper Asghar Afghan said.
Afghanistan are out of the tournament but not before embarrassing Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the group stages. Two of their losing matches - Pakistan and Bangladesh - had gone down the wire.
Asghar said the loss has been painful. Chasing 250 runs, Afghanistan lost the must-win match against Bangladesh by three runs.
"We needed 8 runs off 6 balls. It is not difficult because Rashid (Khan), (Mohammad) Nabi, Samiullah Shenwari can do it. Again we lost in the last over. Again the batsmen went for big shots at the end, which didn't work. We have learnt a lot, especially because we are playing against full-members," the skipper said.
Asghar and Hashmatullah Shahidi with a 78-run partnership threatened to chase the total down but both departed in quick succession affecting their chances.
Shahidi, who was the top-scorer for his team with 71 runs from 99 balls, including five boundaries, said loses against Pakistan and Bangladesh happened because of the inability to finish games.
"We should have performed better. We played well in the last two games but luck didn't go our way. It was two tough games and we didn't finish well."
Afghanistan were chasing a total for the first time in the tournament. Shahidi, however, said the target of 250 was gettable but mistakes at the end cost them the match.
"We should have focused on taking singles and doubles in the last overs. We tried our best but their batsmen Mohammad Mahmudullah and Imrul Kayes played very well. We effected two run outs but they played well."
Shahidi noted the wicket didn't assisted bowlers and was suitable for batting. "The wicket wasn't supporting bowlers. It was the same in the second innings also."
Despite the losses, matches involving Afghanistan were among the best encounters of this edition of the Asia Cup. Shahidi pointed out that Afghans have grown in confidence and treat all tournaments and teams equally.
"We are a mature team. We have good players, who are playing in big leagues. We are playing good cricket for last two years. We know that things are not different in big event. Cricket is same. On the match day whoever plays good cricket will be the better team. So we have to work hard."
Afghanistan now face India in the fifth match of the Super Four in Dubai on Tuesday.