Delight and despondency found equal exposure in the post-match press conference after Bangladesh stunned Sri Lanka during Tuesday's key Asia Cup match. An elated Tamim Iqbal said: “It's the biggest achievement for the country. We realise its still not over. We will party but we will be back to business and I hope we will fire on March 22 (against Pakistan in the final).”
Minutes before Tamim and Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh's twin heroes walked in, a disappointed Mahela Jayawardene said: “We knew it was a tough schedule for us but that cannot be the excuse. We did not play good enough cricket. We were close but we did not play to our potential. We made many mistakes. We raised our game pretty well in Australia and had set some standards but we could not maintain those standards.”
The Sri Lankan captain also praised Bangladesh's hunger for success and that trait was amply evident when Shakib later said: “We know that nothing is impossible. We beat the current world champions and runners-up, which gives us confidence. Honestly, when we talk in the dressing room its like, ‘100 runs in 20 overs is no run.' This is the sort of confidence that we have.”
Belief also shimmered in Tamim's words while he dwelt upon his selection trauma ahead of the tournament. “My job was not to think about what had happened before. I did think of it but still gave my best. I was out of the country and having a holiday, when these things were happening. It gave me some rest and mental freshness. I wanted to prove myself, worked hard and it's going alright,” the opener said and then cut a cake on a truly special birthday for him.
Keywords: Asia Cup