Bangladesh learns how to succeed in challenging circumstances by playing “really tough cricket,” says Tamim

After the first match was postponed due to weather, Bangladesh defeated Ireland 2-0 to win the ODI series

Tamim Iqbal was satisfied with Bangladesh’s “tough cricket” in their 2-0 ODI series victory against Ireland in Chelmsford.

Following a washout in the first ODI, Bangladesh chased down 320 in a second ODI that was reduced to 45 overs per side due to rain, and in the third game, their bowlers rallied in the final nine overs to keep Ireland at bay. Bangladesh was in situations in both games that they have frequently been unable to recover from in the past.

“I thought throughout the series we played really tough cricket,”

Tamim said.

“Chasing 320 in 45 overs, regardless of the ground size or opposition, is a hard task. The way we batted was amazing. Today, it is a very special game for me. We have always seen this kind of situation on the other side. We lost from such winning positions, especially with the ball.”

Tamim made decisions that paid off during the comeback on Sunday. He gave Najmul Hossain Shanto, a part-time bowler, the ball with Ireland needing 52 runs and seven wickets left to fall in the final nine overs. 

The offspinner broke the 79-run partnership with Lorcan Tucker by having Harry Tector caught at deep midwicket, imitating Mehidy Hasan Miraz’s bowling motion. 

Tamim then decided to bowl out Mustafizur Rahman in the 47th over rather than save him for the end, and the left-arm pacer finished with a four-for after taking a wicket in the 43rd, 45th, and 47th overs. Prior to Hasan Mahmud bowling a spectacular final over to give Bangladesh the victory, Ireland were choked just when it mattered.

“The bowling unit will get incredible confidence from this win. It wasn’t easy to defend 274 at this ground. I thought we did a great job,”

Tamim said.

“Miraz’s bowling inspired me to take a chance with Shanto. He took a wicket in the first over and so I continued with him. The match turned on its head in his three overs and Mustafizur’s overs.”

Shanto and Mahmud, two of the lineup’s younger players, came up for Bangladesh during pivotal stages in the series. Shanto received the Player of the Series award for his 196 runs, which included his first ODI century, and the game-winning wicket in the final match. 

Mahmud, on the other hand, maintained his composure while bowling sharp opening stints in the series and had nine runs to defend in the final over of the third game.

“[Shanto] has been playing really well in the last two or three series,”

Tamim said.

“He is scoring quite regularly, which is a great thing for us. We could never nail down the No. 3 position but I think he has cemented his place [by] not just scoring runs but the way he fields, too. He gives his 100% everywhere. He is a great team man.

“[Mahmud] has been impressive. He is world-class, particularly with the new ball. He is a very young guy but has an old head. He is calm under pressure. It is a great learning experience for him. You can bowl thousands of balls in the nets but to deliver under this pressure is something else.”

“I think we should have batted a bit better, especially in a situation like today’s game,” Tamim said. “We were batting at six [runs] an over in the first 25 overs. We should have scored 310-315. We are playing without one [extra] batter. All of us should have taken a little bit more responsibility.

“I am overall happy with this series. We chased 320 successfully. We didn’t defend games like today [in the past] but did it here. There are more positives than negatives.”

Tamim said that Bangladesh’s overall performance contributed to their victory on Sunday. Despite having underwhelming performances, Rony Talukdar and Mrittunjoy Chowdhury did a good job on the field. Talukdar was tasked with opening but only managed 4 off 14 balls. 

Chowdhury bowled eight wicketless overs for 64 runs, including a 37th over of 21 runs that appeared to tip the balance in favor of Ireland. However, they made a number of excellent catches and deep saves.

“Mrittunjoy didn’t bowl from an easy end,”

Tamim said.

“An inch here and there in length, it would go for a six. He bowled very well. He knows he can do better. Contributions from everyone made the win possible today. We didn’t think we would win the game. Some brilliance changed the game.”