Bangladesh's abandoned ICC World Twenty20 qualifier against Ireland at Dharamsala last night will be remembered for one fine knock from dashing opener Tamim Iqbal. Why does it have to be mentioned when it had little or no bearing in a washed-out game? Better ask the weather gods. And didn't they watch in awe when Tamim was in full cry after Bangladesh were asked to bat in a curtailed 12-over-a-side game.
The dashing opener actually started from where he had left off against the Netherlands, where he scored a sublime unbeaten 83. He showed his aggressive intent in the second over, shuffling across and clipping the ball over the vacant square-leg boundary and then hit the next through the line for an effortless four. In the next over the left-hander executed an immaculately-timed six over long-on followed by an exquisite four through extra-cover.
Bangladesh by that time raced to 33 for no loss. Soumya Sarker hammered a few boundaries at the other end, but it was absolutely a Tamim show. Tamim then greeted the Irish off-spinner with an effortless six down the wicket. Soumya tried to do a la Tamim but got stumped for 20 off 13 balls.
The reverse sweep is not a shot Tamim likes, but when you are on song nothing is impossible. So, a reverse sweep against a left-arm spinner for four. Reprieved at 37, Tamim raced to 47 off 26 balls with the help of six sixes and three fours. His dismissal was an anticlimax -- caught at short midwicket while trying to hit it over the boundary. Bangladesh were then at 94 for two and as Tamim started walking back to the dressing room, the weather gods who held their breath for a while decided to intervene irrevocably, perhaps sensing that they have got the full value of what they wished for.
Bangladesh were perhaps denied a victory and had to be content with three points from two games going into the last match against Oman, on equal points, tomorrow.
But it was a perfect start for Bangladesh and captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza said that it was a kind of start they need to be more competitive against top teams.
“I think it was the best start for us in a T20 game. We had always wished for this kind of start. Unfortunately we could not get this kind of start against India in the Asia Cup final. If we had this kind of start against them in a similar situation, it could have been a different story,” said the Bangladesh captain at the post-match briefing.
He also lauded Tamim's innings.
Asked if the washout was a bit disappointing for his team, Mashrafe said that they would have liked to have a full game. It could have been good for his batsmen. He also said that even a victory could have meant little as far as the question of progressing into the Super Ten.
“We know we will have to beat Oman in our final game to win a place in the Super Ten. True, we have not played against them before, but I don't think it will be a big problem if we act professionally,” said a confident Tigers skipper.