‘More positives than negatives’

There are positives to be taken out of Bangladesh’s just-concluded tour to Europe, believes batsman Tamim Iqbal, despite the two losses to Scotland and the Netherlands.
The left-hander was the only player to score more than 200 runs, including two half centuries, in the six Twenty20 internationals held earlier this month. But more than the runs or the fifties, Tamim was happy to see progress on an individual and collective level.
“The tour had more positives than negatives,” said Tamim. “We won the first game against Ireland easily but in the next two we fought back from dire situations. I think the game in which [Mahmudullah] Riyad bhai bowled well in the last over was a difficult win. We never thought we were in it but we fought till the end.”
“Leaving aside the Scotland game, I thought we showed a lot of positive signs. We wanted to get into the habit of winning, so I think the tour has given us that. All in all, there were improvements but there’s still a long way to go,” he added.
Bangladesh won the series against Ireland 3-0, but it wasn’t that emphatic. The wake-up calls came to a dangerous conclusion when little-known Scot batsman Richard Berrington hammered a 57-ball century as the Tigers lost by 34 runs.
Tamim’s unbeaten 69 in the next game, against the Dutch, helped them to an easy win but the tour ended on a sour note after they were vanquished in a last-ball finish against the same opponents.
“Personally I feel happy after the tour. I thought it was a decent effort in conditions which I wouldn’t call ideal for Twenty20 cricket,” he said.
The topsy-turvy fortunes during the tour were also well reflected by the ICC Twenty20 rankings in which Bangladesh jumped to No 4 by winning 3-0 against the Irish. But one loss to the Scots brought them back to No 9, which didn’t change despite winning against the Netherlands the next day or losing on the day after.
“We felt good when we became the No 4 team in Twenty20s and when we lost to Scotland and became No 9, we obviously didn’t feel that good,” said Tamim. “It wasn’t important to be honest and it wasn’t really our goal during the series. But going up the rankings is definitely a goal for the future.”
The Tigers go into a rest period but five of them, Tamim included, are set for another domestic Twenty20 competition, the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL), which begins on August 11. Tamim believes that it will not only be important for those who have contracts, but will help the team too.
“It will be great for the five players but since we’ll be playing the World Twenty20s in Sri Lanka in September, it’ll definitely help us as a team because the captain [Mushfiqur Rahim] is also one of the five players,” he said.

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