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Coach rues Bangladesh’s poor luck after exit

BIRMINGHAM: Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes said he was proud of his side’s fighting spirit and believed that with a little bit of luck they could have progressed to the semi-finals of the World Cup.

Bangladesh were eliminated on Tuesday after succumbing to their fourth defeat in eight matches while India, who prevailed by 28 runs, sailed into the last four with a match to spare.

Mashrafe Mortaza’s men beat West Indies, South Africa and Afghanistan, while their match against Sri Lanka was washed out.

“I’m very proud of the way we’ve played against a lot of the big teams, and I think that maybe we’ll be the people’s team for the amount of fight that we’ve shown against some of these big teams,” Rhodes told reporters after the loss against India.

“It was pleasing to see some fight. I think it’s a reflection of the team. We’ve only picked up the three victories but we’ve pushed a lot of these big teams throughout the competition and, with a little bit of luck, we may well have been one of these top four.”

Tamim Iqbal dropping Rohit Sharma, then on nine, probably best summed up their luckless World Cup campaign as the India opener went on to smash his fourth century of this year’s tournament and help India to a commanding 314-9.

Rhodes admitted it was a costly mistake, giving a reprieve to the tournament’s leading run-scorer, but refused to blame the fielder.

“I’ve watched a lot of cricket over the years and played a lot of cricket and you know that any drop can be costly,” said the former England Test player. “I didn’t know how costly it would be. I was hoping he’d hit another one up in the air a little bit sooner.

“Rohit Sharma, what a wonderful batsman he is in world cricket. You give guys like him a chance, or [Virat] Kohli a chance, and you may well pay the price.

“Again, the person who dropped it was Tamim, and he’s developed into one of our safer pair of hands in the outfield.

“So it was a little bit of a surprise but he’s human, and we’re all human. I’ve dropped lots of catches in my life. I think everybody who’s played the game has dropped catches but sometimes they can be very, very costly, and that one proved to be.”

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