Bangladesh affected by inexperience of chasing big totals, feels Tamim Iqbal

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Tamim Iqbal scored a 74-ball 62 © AFP

Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal said that the team’s inexperience of chasing big totals played a part while they were up against the mountains of runs posted by Australia at Trent Bridge on Thursday. Bangladesh put up a brave show in chase of Australia’s 381/5, falling only 48 runs short of the target. Tamim, who scored a 74-ball 62, reckoned he was planning in such a way that Bangladesh would reach about 200 runs at the 30-over mark, leaving the team with a chance to chase a T20-like target at the end.

“The truth is that we don’t have much experience of chasing big totals,” Tamim told reporters after the match. “I was not looking at the score board but the way I was planning was that if we can score around 180-200 runs in 30 overs then in the last twenty overs we would be able to take some chances,” he said.

“Because if you try to play too aggressive at the start and find yourself in a spot of bother[by losing wickets] then this 330-340 runs wouldnt have been possible too. If we need to score 160-170 runs [in the last 20 overs], which is usually chased down in T20 cricket we could give it a try but unfortunately when we had to capitalize,” he said.

The star opener rued the timing of his and the in-form Shakib Al Hasan’s dismissal, that added to the difficulty level of the task handed to Bangladesh on the night.

“I got out when me and Mushfiqur were going well while Shakib also got out when we were building a good partnership. We played well but could have played better if we didn’t lose wickets at the wrong times,” he added.

Even in this defeat, there was a silver-lining for Bangladesh. Tamim felt the team’s performances – specifically in run-chases – in the last couple of games has given them the belief that they can win any game in which they restrict the opposition to about 330 runs. The senior batsman also lamented the fact that Bangladesh ‘lost control’ of the proceedings with the ball in spells of 3-4 overs where Australia capitalised. In the death overs particularly, Glenn Maxwell’s enterprising 10-ball 32 to add to David Warner and Usman Khawaja’s explosive batting powered Australia from 250/1 in 40 overs to 381/5 in 50 overs.

“The one positive thing is that, in the last two matches we have scored above 300 runs. and both in chasing, its gives you a belief as a batsman that, if we restrict them at 320 or 330, there is a chance to chase that down,” Tamim said. “If you look at our bowling, you will see, there was a spell of 3-4 overs, where the match got out of our control. Everyone has committed some mistakes, for that we lost and we will try to minimize that,” he said.

The failed run-chase leaves Bangladesh at fifth spot, trailing fourth-placed India by two points but also having played two games more. There’s a risk of the current four teams in the top-half – New Zealand, England, Australia and India – creating a gulf between them and the second half of the points table in the lead-up to the semis, but Tamim says there’s still belief within the Bangladesh camp.

“See, we still have a chance. I think none of my team mates are thinking that way [that the World Cup is over], the one thing they are thinking is that, if we win last three matches, there might be an opportunity to qualify for the semifinal,” he said.

“So, till now we are at this point, god forbid if that situation comes that no opportunity is left then we will think about the fifth position,” he added.

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