Cricket World Cup 2011

Bangladesh regroup after loss

2011-02-22 08:06
Under-fire but confident: Tamim Iqbal. (Gallo)

Dhaka - Bangladesh will take on Ireland in their next World Cup match on Friday with renewed confidence despite the opening defeat against India, under-fire batsman Tamim Iqbal has said.

The flamboyant Tamim, one of the keys to Bangladesh's success in the tournament, said the 87-run loss at India's hands last Saturday had not dented his team's psyche.

"We are not thinking about the India match at all," the opening batsman said. "We still have five matches left, and we are looking ahead. We are all very relaxed.

"We are now totally focused on the Ireland match."

Tamim top-scored with 70 as Bangladesh, chasing India's massive 370-4, replied with a spirited 283-9 in the day-night match at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium.

Tamim brushed aside criticism in the Bangladesh media for playing an unusually dour innings, which included just three fours and a six when the team's need was for quick runs.

"I was not timing the ball well," he said. "Somehow the ball was not coming on to the bat that well. So I thought it better not to throw my wicket, and just hang in there.

"One thing I believe is that even if I play 20-30 balls more, I can always recover my strike-rate later."

"The target of 371 was a huge one to chase. I thought if we could have got them around the 300-310 mark, we could have made a match out of it."

Tamim said his side was confident of doing well against Ireland, despite losing to them in the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean, and the 2009 World Twenty20 in England.

"We have plans for each and every player in their side," he said. "We have played quite a few matches against them, and it's the same set of players they have got.

"We know their strengths and weaknesses. If we can execute our plans we will definitely win."

Bangladesh must beat both the non-Test nations, Ireland and the Netherlands, and one of the established sides from England, South Africa and the West Indies, to progress to the next round.

Tamim, however, said there was no pressure on him or his team.

"There are a lot of pressures if you keep thinking about them," he said.

"But the boys are mentally tough and ready. We know we have to play our best if we want to beat any team we play against, whether it's South Africa or Ireland.

"In the World Cup there are no easy matches. You cannot relax. We will approach all the matches the same way, just the way we approached the India match."


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