Tamim Iqbal, the Bangladesh opener, who top-scored with a superb 44-ball 74 in his team’s 12-run victory over Windies in the second Twenty20 international on Saturday (August 4), believes that the pressure is now squarely on the hosts as the two teams face each other in the final game of the three-match series on Sunday night.
Tamim’s effort with the bat was matched by his skipper, Shakib Al Hasan (38-ball 60), with whom he added 90 runs for the fourth wicket to help resurrect Bangladesh after they had slipped to 48 for three. They eventually finished with 171 – a total that was 12 runs too many for the hosts, with left-arm spinner, Nazmul Islam, scalping three wickets. The victory helped the visitors level the three-match series at 1-1, with the decider set to be played at the same venue.
”Obviously, the pressure is on them,” Tamim told reporters after the match. “After the way we ended the ODI series, perhaps we could not play to our potential in the opening T20I, but we always knew we are capable of making a comeback.”
West Indies are two-time world champions in this format of the game and are the defending champions as well, having won the last T20I World Cup, in 2016, in India. But Tamim believes that his team possesses enough quality to dethrone the champs in their home ground. “No doubt they are one of the best T20I teams in the world but if we can play to our potential we can beat any team, after this win we will certainly have the confidence,” Tamim said.
Tamim added that though they won the match, they are not taking anything for granted as they know the strength of their opponent and are aware that they have to start from scratch. “It is not that just because we have won the game it will be easy against them tomorrow,” he said.
“We have to tick all the boxes and need to start everything from the beginning to earn success. That includes from getting a good start and keeping the momentum all through,” he added.
The left-handed opener said that he had learnt his lesson from the opening T20I and his changed approach paid dividends in the second game. The talismanic opener who almost single-handedly guided Bangladesh to a series victory in the ODIs, was stumped without scoring in the first T20I. He took his time to get going in the second game, choosing his shots wisely before accelerating in the second half of the innings, including 22 runs from the 16th over bowled by Andre Russell.
”I took my chance but it didn’t come off (in the first match). Today I was more patient, I took my time in the middle and went for it later in my innings,” the left-handed batsman said. ”I cashed in at the right time. He (Shakib) played an unbelievable knock. He took the pressure off me as we didn’t have a great start. It is my first knock on this pitch and I liked the pitch. When you score runs you always like the pitch,” Tamim concluded.
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