Bangladesh are not giving up their semi-final hopes just yet. That’s what Tamim Iqbal has said, despite his team’s chances of getting there coming down significantly following a 48-run loss to Australia. Having lost to England and New Zealand too, Bangladesh not only have to win their three remaining games but also hope other results go in their favour.
“I think we still have a chance,” Tamim said, when asked if Bangladesh were now aiming to finish at No. 5, as the best of the rest. “I don’t think any of my team-mates are thinking along those lines. We have a chance if we win three matches. If God forbid we don’t have anything to play for, then we will think about No. 5.”
Tamim said one way of ensuring everything goes right would be for Bangladesh to minimise the kind of mistakes they made at Trent Bridge. He felt the batsmen did their job in going past 300 for the third time in the competition, and that they could even have got to their target of 382 had he or Shakib Al Hasan stuck around until at least the 30th over, which could have left them a T20-style chase in the last 20.
“A positive side is that we made 320-plus in our last two matches, and both were chases,” Tamim said. “The batsmen believe that we can chase around 320-330. I think we lost the game in a spell of three or four overs. We actually bowled well in the last three overs. I think we have to minimise mistakes.
“I am not too experienced in chasing a big score, so I stopped looking at the scoreboard. I was trying to be 180-200 at the 30-over mark. It would give us a chance in the last 20 overs chasing the remaining runs. We wouldn’t have made 330-odd if we had gone hard early. I think Shakib and I got out at the wrong times.”
After making 62, his highest score in the tournament, Tamim played on to Mitchell Starc in the 25th over, setting Bangladesh back at a crucial stage. “Maybe everything is not going according to plan. I have felt confident in the last two matches, but luck hasn’t been on my side. I normally play this shot through third man quite well but it wasn’t my day.
“I think I am hitting it well, but it is a matter of time that I get a big one. But the problem is, we don’t have much time.” (ESPNCricinfo)