'This vindicates my belief in setting goals' - Tamim
Tamim Iqbal has termed his career-best 154 against Zimbabwe as a personal best and dedicated the innings to his father. Tamim's century downed a world record unbeaten 194 from Charles Coventry and took Bangladesh to their third ODI series win in a row, a feat Tamim attributed to hard work.
"This again vindicates my belief in setting goals and working hard to achieve that. This was easily the best innings I have ever played and it is dedicated to my late father," Tamim told TigerCricket.com. "I am an international cricketer today because of him.
"Over the last few months I have often breezed through to 20s and 30s and then played a rash shot to get out. The difference yesterday was that I could pace my innings exactly the way I wanted and according to the need of the hour."
Tamim's 154 was the highest individual score for Bangladesh and turned a record chase into a breezy affair. Bangladesh chased down a target of 313 with four wickets and 13 deliveries to spare and Tamim credited the coach Jamie Siddons for helping instill a calmness before Bangladesh began their innings.
"When you are chasing 300 plus there is a lot of stress on the mind and the natural tendency is to go and start hitting. But he [Siddons] never put us under any pressure," said Tamim. "We were told that we will get there easily if we play normal cricket. The coach also said that it was not a problem if we got to 50 in the first 10 overs as long as we didn't lose too many wickets.
"The dressing room was abuzz too after the Zimbabwe innings. Guys were relaxed, laughing and enjoying themselves. There was confidence oozing from everywhere and I could feel that we were going to get those runs. When the batting started we never panicked and stuck to the plan."
Tamim said the players had worked hard on their fitness and that helped him keep pace during a difficult innings - he batted for 44.3 overs - given the altitude in Zimbabwe. His century eventually grabbed the headlines because it helped Bangladesh clinch their highest chase and with it take an unassailable lead in the five-match series. Tamim said he spoke to Coventry, who was joint Man of the Match with Tamim after he equaled former Pakistan opener Saeed Anwar's 12-year record, and hailed a "magnificent" innings.
"I congratulated him and told him that he could keep the trophy. He deserved it," said Tamim. "You don't make world records everyday. It was a truly magnificent innings."