WINDIES TOUR OF BANGLADESH, 2018
“I didn’t have any plan in the beginning. Tamim bhai was doing well and scoring many runs every over. I just tried to help him and observe the bowlers.” © Getty
Bangladesh opener Soumya Sarkar credited Tamim Iqbal for his unbeaten century in the one-off practice game against the Rovman Powell-led West Indians ahead of the three-match One-Day International series. Tamim, who returned to competitive cricket after having recovered from a wrist injury that he sustained in the Asia Cup, scored a century himself, while helping Sarkar keep his calm at the crease during their 114-run stand as the duo reached respective centuries in pursuit of 332, that the visitors reached owing to fiftes from Shai Hope and Roston Chase.
“I tried to play the proper way and to stay at the crease till the end,” Sarkar said on Thursday (December 6). “I didn’t have any plan in the beginning. Tamim bhai was doing well and scoring many runs every over. I just tried to help him and observe the bowlers. He gave me useful tips and I batted accordingly.
“Seeing his confidence from the non-striker’s end I felt that if I support him, then scoring runs will be easier. The way Tamim batted after returning from an injury, it didn’t feel like he was out [of the game],” said Soumya.
Tamim had missed the series against Zimbabwe – that Bangladesh won the ODIs 3-0 and drew the two-Test series 1-1 – with the wrist injury and was forced to alter his plan of returning for the two-match Test series against Windies after sustaining a side strain during a practice session ahead of the first Test. He, however, set the tone in the tour game with a quickfire century before being stumped off Chase for a 73-ball 107 that comprised of four sixes and 13 fours.
Sarkar played second fiddle, eventually getting to a century himself, remaining unbeaten on 103 as the Bangladesh Cricket Board XI picked up a comfortable win by 51 runs by the DLS Method to take confidence into the ODIs after a run of disappointing outings in the Test series. In what was a high-scorer, the BCB XI were ahead of the par score at 314 for 6 in 41 overs when the bad light stopped play, eventually forcing an abrupt end, after having restricted the visitors to 331 for 8.
“Tamim bhai is always an inspiration to the team. He is in good touch. Maintaining the momentum gets easier for batsmen down the order when he is in the team. He got a very good start. Hopefully, he will be able to offer such starts every time – that will be good for both him and Bangladesh,” he said.
“If we can maintain this consistency and have this confidence, then it will surely help us in the next matches. We went on to chase a target of over 300 runs in the practice match and finished it with nine overs remaining. If we can start the same way in the main matches, then 300 runs will not very difficult to score,” added Sarkar.
The first ODI of the three-match series will be played on December 9 in Dhaka.