Tamim says Bangladesh triumph over South Africa 'biggest achievement'
Bangladesh captain Tamim Iqbal said his team's one-day international series triumph against South Africa on Wednesday was a highlight of his 15-year international career.
"This is massive," he said at the after-match presentation after scoring 87 not out to seal a nine-wicket win in the series-deciding third match at SuperSport Park in Centurion.
Tamim said the victory was especially significant for himself and three other veterans of Bangladesh cricket -– Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah.
Mushfiqur made his debut in 2005 and the other three started their international careers in 2007.
"This is probably one of the biggest achievements in my career. We have got four seniors who have been playing for 15 years. I rate this series at the top."
Tamim paid special tribute to Shakib, who delayed his return to Bangladesh to be with ill members of his family.
Shakib took two wickets and hit the winning runs on Wednesday.
"His two daughters, his mother and his mother-in-law are all in hospital. Still playing for his country shows the character of the man. He wanted to win this series so I thank him, he has been brilliant for us."
Wednesday's comprehensive win was set up by fast bowler Taskin Ahmed, who took five for 35 as South Africa were bowled out for 154, their lowest total against Bangladesh.
Taskin was named man of the match and man of the series.
"I'm a very proud man, especially a Bangladeshi fast bowler getting a five-fer, getting a man of the series and winning the series," said Tamim.
- 'Feels like mini-Dhaka' -
"Everybody thinks about (Bangladesh) spin but the fast bowling department has been brilliant for the last two years."
Bangladesh had lost all 19 matches across all formats against South Africa on their home soil before winning the series opener by 38 runs at the same venue on Friday.
South Africa won the second match by seven wickets in Johannesburg but Bangladesh dominated Wednesday's series decider.
Tamim said the win would give Bangladesh teams the confidence that they could win series overseas.
"We take a lot of pride in ODI cricket. We believe we are a very good side. There is no team in the world that we haven't beaten.
"This is one format where we are very comfortable and we have been doing well the last five, six years. The missing part was winning overseas."
Taskin said he felt "very happy and proud".
He said he had been following the same processes for the past year-and-a-half to two years.
"Today I came with my same processes and the same mindset and I executed well."
He said he had enjoyed bowling on South African pitches.
"From the time we arrived I have been working on my lengths," he said.
South African captain Temba Bavuma admitted Bangladesh had "completely outplayed" his team.
"Today they showed us how to play with the bat, with the ball and in the field."
Bangladesh consolidated their place at the top of the World Cup Super League table.
South Africa were left languishing in ninth place and in danger of missing one of the eight automatic qualifying places for the 2023 Cricket World Cup.
The South African government lifted its coronavirus pandemic limit of 2000 for outdoor gatherings on Tuesday night, allowing crowds of up to 50 percent of capacity.
There was a crowd of several thousand for Wednesday's game, including hundreds of Bangladesh supporters, who cheered on their team.
"It feels like a mini-Dhaka," said Tamim.
"They have been brilliant. As Russell (Domingo), our head coach, says, these are the 12th men of our team. Wherever we go, they are always there, whether we win or lose."
South Africa and Bangladesh start the first of two Test matches in Durban on March 31.