Bangladesh opening batsman Tamim Iqbal credited all-rounder Shakib al Hasan and the tail-enders for their contribution with the bat against Zimbabwe on a tough wicket at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka Tuesday. The wicket at the home of cricket was not its original self with the ball gripping and the surface offering random spin to the bowlers.
The Bangladesh batsmen struggled against the Zimbabwe spinners with five of them getting dismissed without reaching double digit. On the occasion, in-form Tamim added an important 76 to the total while Shakib made 51.
Bangladesh following a middle-order collapse saw the lower-order in the shape of Sanjamul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman and Rubel Hossain contribute 45 vital runs off as 46 deliveries to get Bangladesh to 216 for the loss of nine wickets.
"The wicket wasn't the best to be very honest. It was a difficult wicket. There was seam movement in the first 15 overs, and when the spinners came in it was really difficult; one was turning and one was coming straight. So it was really difficult to bat. I thought Shakib and myself batted really well though we did not score at a higher run rate, but we were batting according to the wicket," said man of the match Tamim in the post-match press conference.
"I have to give credit to the team management here again because in the last month and a half, the amount of batting time the lower-order batsmen were given, only those who saw it closely would know. They batted a lot and Nos nine, 10 and 11 scored 50 (45) runs. So that made the difference in the game," the left-handed batsman added.
Tamim, who is in blistering form hitting three consecutive fifties in the tri-nation ODI series, lost yet another golden opportunity to bag an ODI hundred. The southpaw on 76 off 105 balls went down the wicket for an ambitious shot against spinner Graeme Cremer only to miss the line of the ball and get stumped.
Tamim confessing it was a wrong time to go for the hit said, "Maybe the time was wrong to attack. A leg-spinner was bowling and I am a leftie, so the chances are higher for me to succeed against him. I was targeting him for quite some time, but we kept losing wickets regularly, such as Mushfiqur [Rahim] and [Mahmudullah] Riyad. I was targeting those overs, thinking it will be good if I can hit him for one or two [boundaries]. Even if I had gotten out while Mushfiq was there, that would have been better because we would have had five or six batsmen. So if I had tried to build a partnership for five overs and then tried that shot, it would have been better."
With Bangladesh losing regular wickets, opportunity was big for youngsters in the side in the form of Sabbir Rahman and Nasir Hossain to stand out as the hero. But the duo combined could sustain only 19 deliveries and chip eight runs to the tally, with Sabbir scoring six of them.
"Of course. Every player waits for opportunities like this. It was an opportunity for them. Sabbir was unlucky, it was a brilliant catch (taken by Craig Ervine). I didn't see anything wrong in his shots as well. Maybe Nasir will be disappointed not to score because there was a perfect opportunity for him to get some runs and get his confidence high," Tamim concluded.