Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, Asia Cup, Mirpur March 20, 2012

Bangladesh jubilant, but not done yet

The celebrations were not restrained in Bangladesh after they made the final, but Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal said they were not yet finished
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As soon as Nasir Hossain pushed the ball past mid-on to complete one of the greatest achievements in Bangladesh cricket, the Shere Bangla turned into a frenzy of celebration. The players rushed out to grab stumps as souvenirs, they took off on a joyous lap of honour with Nasir egging the already partying fans to shout some more, the bowling coach Shane Jurgensen was using his iPad to capture the crazy scenes, the watching Prime Minister came down to congratulate the team, and even when the post-match presentation began, the players were jumping up and down in a delirious huddle.

When a beaming Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal walked in for the press conference, they were greeted by boisterous applause from the journalists, and one of the items on the agenda was when to present the birthday boy Tamim his cake. All the rejoicing and backslapping made it seem as though this Bangladesh team had already considered its work done for the Asia Cup, but Tamim corrected that impression with his first answer.

"It's a great achievement for the country, so far the biggest," Tamim said, before adding, "We realise it's still not over, we have another very important game. We'll enjoy tonight, we'll party, but tomorrow we'll be back to business. I hope we will fire on the 22nd."

Tamim, through grinning through most of the press conference, was more composed than Shakib. Normally a man of few words, Shakib couldn't stop talking after the win. "I can't understand what my feelings are," he said. "Of course when I talk to the team-mates I will realise what this is. I am very excited, very happy because we don't usually achieve such things."

Shakib, too, wasn't basking in satisfaction, and was already setting his sights on more glory. "If we win in the final, it will be the best moment of my career," he said. "We know that nothing is impossible and the way we are playing we will do well in the final."

Bangladesh have always been capable of one-off upsets, catching the bigger teams on an off day, but rarely have they been able to string together a series of strong performances. Shakib underlined the importance of their efforts over the past week. "We never played well in the Asia Cup so it is really big," he said. "We beat the current world champions and runners-up, which is a huge achievement for us. It gives us a lot of confidence, teaches us a lot of things. This change will take us a long way."

Shakib highlighted the difference between the current team and the ones in the past, when Bangladesh were involved in lots of so-near-yet-so-far losses. "I think when we talk in the dressing room its like, 100 runs in 20 overs is no problem. This is the sort of confidence that we have now," he said. "Cricket is a mental game so this confidence is very important. If a player goes down the wicket and thinks he'll get stumped, he will. If he thinks he will hit a six, he'll be successful at most times."

As the press conference wound down, the cake was brought out, Shakib handed over his party hat to Tamim and led the cheers for the birthday boy amid much laughter. Amid all the elation, both players had made it clear Bangladesh weren't done yet.

The fans, though, were in no mood to think of tomorrow. Even hours after the game, they were gathered outside the stadium, dancing in the streets, banging their drums, blowing their horns at every passing car, and shouting their victory. There was such pandemonium that a TV journalist decided to get on the roof of a nearby bus, so that he and his cameraman would have an undisturbed spot to telecast from. Friday's win had set off what must surely have been the biggest celebrations for a victory in an Asia Cup match; today's party promises to top that. Imagine Thursday.

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • tvumpire.com on March 23, 2012, 3:24 GMT

    all of them 'proved' lucky .lol

  • Asif-500 on March 22, 2012, 5:02 GMT

    Its great to see huge support for TIGERS out side the tigerland Bangladesh. Thanx to all of you guys. Hope tigers will prove sahwag and indian media again that they are 'not an ordenary team'.

  • tvumpire.com on March 22, 2012, 3:54 GMT

    @Jasim Uddin. 25-3 doesn't make a team great or will not get respect from opposition. You have to win 10-15 games at least to get that respect. They outcome of these result is like the WC match. Indians will play more aggressively and will score heavily to overcome your threat. But that will not humiliate your team s you have enough such cases in the past!

  • WickyRoy.paklover on March 22, 2012, 3:22 GMT

    Go pak Go ,U DESERVE THS TITLE MORE THAN ANY OTHR TEAM AT D MOMENT.ITS FUNNY INDIANS STIL QUESTINING D FORMAT,WELL, Very SIMPLE! U DIDN'T DESERVE TO BE IN D FINALS,ACCEPT IT.THE FORMAT IS SAME FOR ALL TEAMS,IF U HAD ALLEGATIONS,UR BOARD SHOULD HAV DISCUSSED IT BEFOR START OF TOURNAMNT

  • JRMohan on March 22, 2012, 2:13 GMT

    @Shamim_araf - even the blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while...Got it

  • Major_Hammad on March 21, 2012, 19:38 GMT

    Congratulation to Bangladesh on reaching in Final by kicking out India and Srilanka (WC and Last Asia Cup Finalist Teams) from Asia Cup 2012, a huge huge improvement in Bangladesh team. I'm from Pakistan but very much fan of Shakib Al Hassan & Bangladesh team. Best of Luck to Bangladesh team in future also.

  • StatisticsRocks on March 21, 2012, 14:11 GMT

    One more thing for all those who like to claim (coz it helps them sleep well) India is a flat trak bully at home, WHere is BD playing this Asia Cup..last I checked it's in BNG.....When has BNG won a test match agnst IND like @BRAVO has claimed.....sweet dreams guys...

  • MNI1234 on March 21, 2012, 13:37 GMT

    SL vs IND semi final at airport BD vs PAK at final

  • dummy4fb on March 21, 2012, 13:02 GMT

    Pak wins Asia cups IA tomorrow

  • dummy4fb on March 21, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    when Bangladesh win aganist India, than it will be confromed India can waiting with Ray of hope but unable stay alive any series and its already proven this Asia cup nd last 2007 wodcup...so be couscous and pay respect in future when bangladesh play aganist India...neither lose ur dignity ,become flattery the boast high admiration.

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