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'We won the series but don't think we played really well' - Tamim Iqbal

Bangladesh captain rues missing out on ten Super League points in the third ODI

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
28-May-2021
Tamim Iqbal: "When we had the opportunity, we should have finished it properly"  •  AFP/Getty Images

Tamim Iqbal: "When we had the opportunity, we should have finished it properly"  •  AFP/Getty Images

Bangladesh captain Tamim Iqbal has rued not picking up the full 30 points on offer in the series against Sri Lanka after his side lost by by 97 runs in the third ODI. The home side had already sealed the series by winning the first two matches, but with the ICC ODI Super League's points table being directly connected to 2023 World Cup qualification, matches like the one on Friday now have greater significance.
"You never know, these ten points could bother us later," Iqbal said. "The ICC ODI Super League is not like a typical bilateral series. When we had the opportunity, we should have finished it properly. We won the series, but I don't think we played really well. We bowled well, but we have more potential in our batting unit. Fielding was okay in the first two matches, but it was the same-old fielding today. We [dropped] important catches at important times."
Despite Bangladesh winning the series 2-1, Iqbal called for more improvement from his team.
"I am disappointed [with the third ODI]," he said. If we forget everything just because we won the series, it is the same thing when we come and say after a series loss that we have a lot of work to do. I will say the same thing after this series win: we have a lot to improve on."
However, Iqbal wasn't too critical of the players who didn't perform regularly. "Criticising them is easy, but I don't like to criticise my players," he said. I know how hard they are working. They haven't performed up to their expectations.
"I am sure they will put up a good performance soon. When they will perform, we become a stronger team."
Liton Das was among the under-performers, having made only 101 runs in eight ODIs this year. In the third ODI, Bangladesh brought Mohammad Naim from among their standby players to replace Das. Although Naim scored just 1 on Friday, Iqbal said they [team management] were impressed with him and that he could get a longer run.
"Liton got a fair share [of matches]," he said. He wasn't able to perform to his ability in eight matches. But it is not the end for Liton. We all know how good he is. I think having a right-handed opener with me helps the team.
"We thought this was the time we should give somebody else [a chance]. You can argue about Soumya [Sarkar] and Naim but everyone felt, including myself, that Naim should get a chance. He was batting really well in the nets and practice matches. He was unfortunate not to score today, but he will get a proper run."
After Naim got out in the second over, Iqbal, too, didn't last long as he was given out caught behind off Dushmantha Chameera in the tenth over, in a chase of 287. Iqbal said that his bat didn't touch the ball. Replays were inconclusive, so the on-field out decision was upheld after Iqbal's review.
"It was very disappointing. I was 100 percent sure that I never nicked it," he said. "It was very unfortunate that when it went to review, it was almost impossible for the umpire to overturn the decision. If the on-field umpire didn't give that out, it would have been a different thing."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84