Dhaka: Bangladesh are on the verge of achieving their World Cup target of reaching the quarterfinals despite not playing their best cricket, opening batsman Tamim Iqbal said.
The Tigers, with six points from five matches, will advance to the knockout rounds if the West Indies defeat England in Chennai on Thursday. But if England win, Bangladesh will have to upset powerful South Africa in their last league match at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium on Saturday to qualify.
"If we can make the quarterfinals, it will be great because that was the team's target before the tournament," the aggressive left-hander said.
"We have not played our best cricket yet. We can do better than that and we will try to do that against South Africa."
Bangladesh, the only team in the competition with the advantage of playing all their league matches at home, defeated England and the two minnow sides, Ireland and the Netherlands. But they lost the tournament opener to India and then crashed to their lowest one-day total of 58 against the West Indies.
"Even if we don't play the quarter-finals, it will not take anything away from us," said Tamim. "Our aim was to win at least three matches and we have already achieved that target.
"If we can get one more, that will be fantastic."
Tamim, the team's leading batsman, was not worried about his own form with scores of 44, 0, 38 and 0 after making 70 against India. There have been no hundreds or century partnerships by the Bangladesh batsmen in the series.
"I have scored 70 and two innings of around 40," said Tamim. "Three years back, everyone would have been happy with that. But I have raised my own standards, so you now see my 40s as a failure.
"I am not really worried. There is nothing wrong with my technique. People keep telling me that I have not scored a century in the World Cup. I dream of a hundred even in my sleep. I am sure you will see it soon. At least a century stand is not too far away," he said.
Tamim, who turns 22 on Sunday, went into the World Cup determined to be his team's top scorer in every match and achieved that target only in the first two games against India and Ireland. Tamim has scored 2,792 runs in 94 one-dayers at a strike rate of almost 80, with three hundreds.