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Cricket World Cup: Strauss rues 'missed opportunity'

England errors aid shock Bangladesh win

England captain Andrew Strauss was left rueing a "missed opportunity" to book a place in the World Cup quarter-finals after their defeat by Bangladesh.

England looked set to defend a total of 225 after reducing the hosts to 169-8 but were denied by a 58 partnership between Shafiul Islam and Mahmudullah.

"We just weren't able to nail the final nail in the coffin," said Strauss.

"We're bitterly disappointed, this was a missed opportunity and we'll have to bounce back against West Indies."

England take on West Indies in Chennai next Thursday, and will in all probability need to win the match to progress to the quarter-finals, although it is possible that they could win that match and still go out.

You've got to channel that frustration and make sure you come out and beat the next side you play against

Andrew Strauss

That scenario looked certain to be avoided when England took five Bangladesh wickets for 15 runs to leave the hosts eight down with 56 still required in this day/night game.

But Mahmudullah (21 not out) and Shafiul Islam (24 not out) took advantage of some wayward bowling to turn the match on its head and the Tigers romped over the line with an over to spare to win by two wickets.

It was a frustrating match for England bowler Graeme Swann, who was unable to impart any off-spin because of the dew that drenched the ball during the evening and was later fined 10% of his match fee for showing dissent to umpire Darryl Harper.

"There was a 20-over period where it was very, very bad," said Strauss.

"Graeme Swann couldn't grip the ball at all. I think there's something not quite right if a spinner can't grip the ball in this part of the world, where spin plays such an important role."

Swann was visibly frustrated with the wet ball and Strauss said he had to tell his player to "calm down and get on with it". The spinner later pleaded guilty to the charge of having made "unacceptable remarks" to the on-field umpires, the fact that he apologised to the umpires later in the match possibly sparing him from a greater fine.

But for all his premier bowler's frustrations, Strauss said the wet ball was not the reason England had lost the game.

"It hurt but if defeats didn't hurt you wouldn't be playing this game," added Strauss.

"We fought hard and got ourselves into a position to win the game but we couldn't take those final two wickets.

"You've got to channel that frustration and make sure you come out and beat the next side you play against."

Frustrated Strauss still hopeful of qualification

Strauss could at least draw positives from the performances of Eoin Morgan and Ajmal Shahzad, who replaced the injured Kevin Pietersen and Stuart Broad.

Morgan struck 63 from 72 balls in a partnership of 109 with Jonathan Trott, while Shahzad took three wickets - each one from perfectly executed deliveries that moved away off the seam.

Strauss thought England had made a "par" score on the back of half-centuries from Morgan and Trott.

"We felt it was a par score, that we could defend it, and we got ourselves in a great position to do that," he added.

"But in the end we weren't able to take those last two wickets, which is desperately disappointing for us."

As for Morgan's batting, Strauss commented he had "played brilliantly".

"He took the game to the opposition at a time when it might have been difficult to do that," he added.

"He's very good against spin in the middle overs. Hopefully there's more to come from him.

England have had enough - Agnew

"Ajmal Shahzad bowled well at the end. They were the two positives for us but we're very disappointed."

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan admitted he thought his team were beaten when their eighth wicket went down, prompting an exodus of fans from the stadium.

"I thought we had lost the game but Mahmudullah and Shafiul just played outstandingly," he said. "They showed how tough they are.

"It means a hell of a lot to the whole country. We are very emotional about cricket."

Bangladesh know wins against Netherlands and South Africa in their final group matches will seal a last-eight berth.

"It was a great day for us," added Shakib. "We have to play two more big games so it will still be very difficult."

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see also
Swann fined for showing dissent
12 Mar 11 |  England
Bangladesh rally to shock England
11 Mar 11 |  England
Bangladesh v England as it happened
11 Mar 11 |  England
World Cup photos
11 Mar 11 |  Cricket
Tremlett replaces England's Broad
09 Mar 11 |  England
England's Broad out of World Cup
08 Mar 11 |  England
Pietersen v Morgan
07 Mar 11 |  Cricket
Pietersen ruled out of World Cup
07 Mar 11 |  Cricket
England stun S Africa in thriller
06 Mar 11 |  England
Cricket World Cup 2011
09 Mar 11 |  Cricket

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