Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal admitted he had to work really hard for his runs during the 48-run win over West Indies in the first one-day international of three-match series in Guyana on Sunday.
Tamim hit 130 off 160 balls – his 10th ODI century – which helped Bangladesh post a commendable total of 279-4 before the visiting side restricted West Indies to 231-9 for a crucial win.
Tamim reached his hundred off 146 balls, the slowest ever ODI century for Bangladesh, which overtook Shahriar Nafees’s 143-ball hundred against Zimbabwe at Jaipur in 2006.
‘Any innings, which comes in a winning cause, it’s always special,’ Tamim said after the match.
‘It wasn’t the easiest wicket when we came out to bat today [Sunday]. We needed to work hard to get to a strong position. I think the first 25 overs it was really difficult. The ball was spinning and the faster bowlers were getting the ball to do something.’
‘Mushfiq’s [ Mushfiqur Rahim] innings was special, Sakib [al Hasan] played well, I worked hard for my runs and then in the bowling Mashrafee [ bin Murtaza] was brilliant.’
Tamim and all-rounder Sakib, who made 97, runs added a record 207-run partnership for the second wicket to take Bangladesh towards a challenging score on a slow pitch.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiq used the platform to hit a cameo of 30 off 11 deliveries with three fours and two sixes, eventually guiding Bangladesh to a competitive score.
‘Our initial plan was to dig in and to carry on and play as long as possible, not to think about the scoreboard. We had a target in mind which we achieved. Due to Mushfiq’s cameo we actually passed that target and got 20 runs more,’ said Tamim.
The victory, however, was not assured until a bowling heroic of skipper Mashrafee, who picked up 4-37 to restrict West Indies.
Tamim showered the skipper, who brought an air of positivity in the team after a mauling in the preceding Test series, with huge praise.
‘With his experience he did what was needed to do in this wicket and his captaincy was spot on today, I think,’ Tamim said of Mashrafee.
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