It was a refreshing return to form for Tamim Iqbal as the dashing left-hander hit a composed fifty that helped his side post a fighting 180 and set up a 20-run win over Cumilla Warriors in their Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League game in Mirpur yesterday.
The 32-year-old had a poor run in the World Cup this summer, which continued on the tour of Sri Lanka in late July, after which Tamim decided to take a break from cricket, missing out on the home series against Afghanistan and Zimbabwe, as well as last month’s tour of India. Tamim played just one competitive match in the last three months – a National Cricket League game in October for Chattogram Division, during which he was dismissed for 30 and 46.
In the first match of the BBPL against Rajshahi Royals on Thursday, he scored just five and the pressure was mounting.
The left-hander started cautiously yesterday and looked shaky with his foot movement initially, focusing more on taking singles. At one point he had scored just 14 off 22 balls.
He survived on 23 when he smashed a pull towards the long leg region off Soumya Sarkar and Dawid Malan did complete the catch but his feet touched the boundary. Since then there was no looking back for the experienced campaigner.
The highest run getter in the BPL slowly and steadily started to gain confidence and his natural game started to appear.
In shots like a straight six off left-arm spinner Suzamul Islam or the trademark pulled four off Dashun Shanaka, Tamim finally seemsed to find what he has long been searching, soon reaching his 50 off 40 balls.
After striking a four and a six off Shanaka in the 17th over, Tamim finally departed when he was caught at deep point for a well-made 74 off 53 balls -- runs that will give the star player much succour.
SCORES IN BRIEF
DHAKA PLATOON: 180 for 7 (Tamim 74, Perera 42 not out, Evans 23; Soumya 2-39, Shanaka 2-48)
CUMILLA WARRIORS: 160 for 9 (Malan 40, Mahidul 37, Soumya 35, Rajapaksa 29; Perera 5-30, Wahab 2-16)
Result: Dhaka won by 20 runs
Player-of-the-match: Thisara Perera