Dhaka, (The Telegraph): Shakib-al Hasan may have been the Man of the Match for his stupendous all-round show on Tuesday, but birthday boy Tamim Iqbal's 59 off 57 balls was equally important in shaping Bangladesh's entry into the final.
"It's a great achievement...The biggest so far in our cricketing history. The job is still not over...There's one more game to go...We'll have a party tonight and then it will be back to business. We'll have to fire on Thursday," Tamim, who turned 23, said.
Bangladesh enter Asia Cup final
Scorecard | Action in Images
Tamim admitted that his partnership with Shakib played a huge role in deciding the course of the game. "Shakib's a gamechanger. We knew that if we could play our natural game, we were in with a chance. Shakib provided mw with a lot of support...He constantly spoke to me, told me a lot of positive things that helped...Hats off to the boys."
Tamim didn't wish to read much into his dropping from the side initially. "These things happen...I decided not to think much about it. If I thought about it, I would have only invited pressure. That I was out of the country during that period helped. My team-mates gave me a lot of confidence. I knew I had to prove myself on the field which I concentrated on. But I've to admit that it proved to be an extra motivation," the opener explained.
He admitted he had changed his approach to batting slightly after speaking to Sachin Tendulkar. "I'm trying to be a bit careful nowadays. The introduction of two new balls has changed my approach. I spoke to Sachin on this and he agreed."
Both Tamim and Shakib agreed that the Bangladesh Premier League played a big role in their success. "BPL has given us lot of confidence...Shakib played some unbelievable shots against India...BPL has certainly helped but we worked hard as well. But there's still work left..."
Shakib felt the BPL helped improve the players' confidence. "We've contributed as a team. That's the biggest thing. BPL has helped improve players' confidence. Beating the current world champions and runners-up has give us confidence...This will take us ahead," the former captain said.
Shakib said the victory was yet to sink in. "I can't understand the feelings as yet...may be a little later it will sink in. Now I'm just excited and happy. Hoepfully, we will end the tournament on a high."
Job still not over: Tamim
Tamim Iqbal's smashing knock helped Bangladesh qualify for the Asia Cup final with a remarkable five-wicket victory over Sri Lanka.Yahoo! Cricket – Wed 21 Mar, 2012 1:42 PM IST
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