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'We played really tough cricket' - Tamim pleased as Bangladesh learn to win from tricky situations

"The bowling unit will get incredible confidence," Tamim said after the win in the third ODI, where Ireland needed 52 in nine overs with seven wickets in hand

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Bangladesh won the ODI series against Ireland 2-0 after the first match was rained out  •  Andrew Miller/ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Bangladesh won the ODI series against Ireland 2-0 after the first match was rained out  •  Andrew Miller/ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Tamim Iqbal is happy with the "tough cricket" Bangladesh played in their 2-0 ODI series win over Ireland in Chelmsford.
After the washout in the first ODI, Bangladesh chased down 320 in a rain-curtailed 45 overs-a-side second ODI and then their bowlers rallied in the last nine overs to keep Ireland at bay in the third match. In both the games, Bangladesh were in the sort of positions they have often been unable to turn around in the past.
"I thought throughout the series we played really tough cricket," Tamim said. "Chasing 320 in 45 overs, regardless of the ground size or opposition, is a hard task. The way we batted was amazing. Today, it is a very special game for me. We have always seen this kind of situation on the other side. We lost from such winning positions especially with the ball."
Tamim took calls that came good in the turnaround on Sunday. With Ireland needing 52 with seven wickets in hand in the last nine overs, he handed the ball to part-time bowler Najmul Hossain Shanto. The offspinner, who imitates Mehidy Hasan Miraz's bowling action, had Harry Tector caught at deep midwicket to break the 79-run stand with Lorcan Tucker. Tamim then opted to bowl out Mustafizur Rahman by the 47th over instead of saving him for the end and the left-arm pacer picked up a wicket in each of the 43rd, 45th and 47th overs to finish with a four-for. Ireland were stifled right when it mattered, before Hasan Mahmud bowled a stunning final over to give Bangladesh the win.
"The bowling unit will get incredible confidence from this win. It wasn't easy to defend 274 at this ground. I thought we did a great job," Tamim said. "Miraz's bowling inspired me to take a chance with Shanto. He took a wicket in the first over and so I continued with him. The match turned on its head in his three overs and Mustafizur's overs."
In crucial moments in the series, Shanto and Mahmud, both among the younger players in the line-up, stepped up for Bangladesh. Shanto was adjudged the Player of the Series for his returns of 196 runs, including his first ODI century, and the match-turning wicket in the last game. Mahmud, meanwhile, kept his calm in the last over of the third game with nine to defend, while also bowling incisive opening spells in the series.
"[Shanto] has been playing really well in the last two or three series," Tamim said. "He is scoring quite regularly, which is a great thing for us. We could never nail down the No. 3 position but I think he has cemented his place [by] not just scoring runs but the way he fields, too. He gives his 100% everywhere. He is a great team man.
"[Mahmud] has been impressive. He is world-class, particularly with the new ball. He is a very young guy but has an old head. He is calm under pressure. It is a great learning for him. You can bowl thousands of balls in the nets but to deliver under this pressure is something else."
But there is a lot of room for improvement for Bangladesh.
"I think we should have batted a bit better, especially in a situation like today's game," Tamim said. "We were batting at six [runs] an over in the first 25 overs. We should have scored 310-315. We are playing without one [extra] batter. All of us should have taken a little bit more responsibility.
"I am overall happy with this series. We chased 320 successfully. We didn't defend games like today [in the past] but did it here. There are more positives than negatives."
Tamim felt that Sunday's win came because of an all-round performance from Bangladesh. The two debutants, Rony Talukdar and Mrittunjoy Chowdhury, didn't have an impactful performance but fielded well. Talukdar was sent to open but struggled for 4 off 14 balls. Chowdhury bowled eight wicketless overs for 64, including a 21-run 37th over that seemed to turn the tide in Ireland's favour. But they took good catches and pulled off plenty of saves in the deep.
"Mrittunjoy didn't bowl from an easy end," Tamim said. "An inch here and there in length, it would go for a six. He bowled very well. He knows he can do better. Contributions from everyone made the win possible today. We didn't think we would win the game. Some brilliance changed the game."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84