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Firdose Moonda in Harare
August 7, 2011
Nobody can accuse Tamim Iqbal of being modest. The Bangladesh opening batsman was bullish at the end of the fourth day's play, confident that his team would emerge comfortable winners because Zimbabwe's bowlers pose no threat to their line-up.
"He's just ok, he's nothing special," Tamim said of Kyle Jarvis, who took two wickets late in the day to swing the advantage Zimbabwe's way. "I'm just being honest and telling the truth." He was similarly unimpressed with Brian Vitori, the left-arm seamer whose four wickets in the first innings did substantial damage to Bangladesh's cause. "He's ordinary."
So, if neither of Zimbabwe's two strike bowlers pose any danger to Bangladesh, what stands in their way on their journey to victory in Harare? "Ourselves," Tamim said. "The wicket is flat so if we don't make mistakes or do anything silly, we should win."
Tamim believed his own innings was a demonstration of how the rest of the line-up should bat, without fear. "I was going beautifully and if I was still there we would have had more runs," he said. "I had a plan, which was to play my shots and I was doing that. It's just bad luck that I got out, that happens in cricket."
Despite his crash and burn innings in a tall task for Bangladesh, Tamim praised Zimbabwe's captain Brendan Taylor for his sporting declaration, saying it created an opportunity for a good finish. "It was a clever declaration. If they had batted for one hour after tea, we would have been happy to bat for the other hour and might not have gone for the chase, so this was clever."
Tamim displays a rare confidence, that is often absent in Bangladesh players and indicated that soon, the rest of the squad may start talking the talk like he does, although he admitted that they don't often walk the walk. "Every individual player knows their game now, so that has a come a long way. We still have a lot to learn and that will come if we play a lot more Test cricket. We can't have a 14-month break," he said, using the opportunity to also take a snipe at those in charge of the scheduling.
The only group who escaped his criticism were his own team-mates and Tamim wasn't disappointed with their fielding effort, despite their lack of firepower. "Maybe they could have done a little more with the new ball but Robiul [Islam] and Rubel [Hossain] played their hearts out and it was nice to see that."
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