Shakib: Losing close games due to ‘mental block’

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan feels his team has a “mental block” in tight games after another loss on the final ball against Afghanistan in the third and final T20 on Thursday.

Chasing a target of 146, the Tigers needed nine off the final over with two set batsman at the crease, a situation that have seen them salvage a consolation win in the series.

However, both Mushfiqur Rahim (46) and Mahmudullah (45) lost their wickets as Bangladesh went on to lose by one run.

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It follows a trend for the Tigers when they suffered a heartbreaking defeat to India at the World T20 in 2016 and then again this year to the same opponents in the final of the T20 tri-series in Sri Lanka when Dinesh Karthik smashed a six off the final ball.

Shakib said after Thursday’s loss: “It will be hard for me to answer. I have never batted or bowled in those situations.

“I think the batsmen or bowlers will describe it better. I think it is a mental block, which we have not been able to overcome till now.”

The loss at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Dehradun saw Bangladesh being whitewashed three-nil by a team that has yet to even play Test cricket.

Shakib was rather scathing about his team’s performances during the series.

The Tigers skipper said: “We need to bat, bowl and field better. I think we failed in all three departments.

“We didn’t bat to our potential. We could have bowled better except for today’s match. Body language and fielding, we were struggling.

“I have seen our team when we fielded really well, but that body language and effort wasn’t there.”