One of the greatest Bangladesh batsmen, Tamim Iqbal, recently shared his experiences during their stunning victory against the star-studded Indian team in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007.
While the Bangladesh national cricket team is presently a very competitive side, especially in the limited-overs formats, here we are talking about that time when Bangladesh were counted among the growing up minnows.
It was the opening game for both Bangladesh and India in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 (Group B) which was played at Queen’s Park Oval (Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago) on 17th March 2007. Before that game, Bangladesh only beat the Indian team in an ODI.
There were high expectations from the Rahul Dravid-led Indian team in that tournament as this Asian side finished as the runners-up in the previous World Cup (2003) under Sourav Ganguly’s captaincy. But the cricket world was shocked when they experienced that Bangladesh started the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 journey with a comfortable victory against India by five wickets (with nine balls remaining).
Tamim Iqbal, who was then moving to complete 18 years and just made the international debut more than a month ago, played a crucial role for his team to snatch that stunning World Cup victory against India. Chasing down the 192 runs target, the left-handed opening batsman provided a solid start and scored 51 runs off 53 balls before the Indian pacer Munaf Patel dismissed him.
Talking with the former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar in the live chat hosted by ESPNCricinfo, Tamim claimed, “The moment I was playing the World Cup 2007 match against India, I was too busy watching Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly. I was just watching them. I was too happy to be playing in the presence of these legends.”
When they scored 190, we knew we had a chance: Tamim Iqbal
After winning the toss, India were bundled out for just 191 runs (49.3 overs). Among the Bangladesh bowlers, pacer Mashrafe Mortaza (4/38) took four wickets while the left-arm spinners Abdur Razzaq (3/38) and Mohammad Rafique (3/35) scalped three wickets each.
Apart from Tamim Iqbal, wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim (56*) and all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan (53) hit half-centuries in that successful run-chase. Mortaza won the Player of the Match award in that historic game.
Talking about his batting in that game, Tamim recalled the memory how he got some confidence in the early period of the second innings.
He said, “When they scored 190, we knew we had a chance. I went to bat and I faced Zaheer Khan. I thought to myself will I be able to face a bowler who bowls at 140 kmph; the first ball he bowled, somehow I managed to defend that; next ball I smashed for four and from there I got some confidence.”
That defeat massively hurt the Indian team in that tournament. Though they thrashed Bermuda in the next game (won by 257 runs), they lost their last game of the Group Stage against Sri Lanka (lost by 69 runs) and faced the early exit from the tournament.