Plenty of positives from Europe tour- Tamim
Bangladesh batsman Tamim Iqbal has said the six-match Twenty20 tour of Europe has helped the team develop the habit of winning, despite the two losses to Scotland and Netherlands. Tamim was the only batsman to score in excess of 200 runs, including two half-centuries. He said he was happy to see progress on an individual and collective level.
"The tour had more positives than negatives," Tamim told ESPNcricinfo. "We won the first game against Ireland easily but in the next two we fought back from dire situations. I think the game in which [Mahmudullah] Riyad bhai bowled well in the last over was a difficult win. We never thought we were in it but we fought till the end.
"Leaving aside the Scotland game (which the hosts won by 34 runs), I thought we showed a lot of positive signs. We wanted to get into the habit of winning, so I think the tour has given us that. All in all, there were improvements but there's still a long way to go."
After sweeping the series 3-0 against Ireland, Bangladesh had a wake-up call when the Scotland batsman Richie Berrington hammered a 57-ball century. The Bangladesh batsmen faltered and lost the one-off game.
Tamim's unbeaten 69 in the next game, against Netherlands, helped them to an easy win but the tour ended in a disappointing note after they were defeated in a last-ball finish against the same opponents.
"Personally, I feel happy after the tour," Tamim said. "I thought it was a decent effort in conditions which I wouldn't call ideal for Twenty20 cricket."
The mixed results caused some bizarre movements in the ICC Twenty20 rankings. Bangladesh jumped to No. 4 after winning 3-0 against Ireland. However, one loss to Scotland brought them back to No. 9, which didn't change despite beating Netherlands the next day and losing the day after.
"We felt good when we became the No. 4 team in Twenty20s, but when we lost to Scotland and became No. 9, we obviously didn't feel that good," said Tamim. "It wasn't important to be honest and it wasn't really our goal during the series. But going up the rankings is definitely a goal for the future."
The players will take a break, but Tamim and four others are set to play the inaugural Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) Twenty20 competition, which begins on August 11. Tamim believes the whole team stands to benefit and not just the contracted players.
"It will be great for the five players but since we'll be playing the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in September, it'll definitely help us as a team because the captain [Mushfiqur Rahim] is also one of the five players," he said.
Mohammad Isam is senior sports reporter at the Daily Star in Dhaka