Tamim Iqbal’s knocks against England have almost always been memorable. From his feisty centuries at Lord’s and Manchester to his imperious hundred at Mirpur yesterday, he has always had his guard up against the English.
The left-hander’s near flawless 104 yesterday, which saw him hit 12 fours, was his third Test hundred against England, the most he has scored against a single side.
As far as numbers are concerned, it is not just the centuries that are doing the talking. He has five half-centuries as well. Tamim now averages a staggering 63.27 against England in eleven innings, having crossed the 50-run mark in eight of the 11 occasions that he has padded up against England.
Tamim’s hundred yesterday eventually turned out to be a lot more important than it initially seemed it would be. It was a difficult start with the opener requiring 19 balls to get off the mark. However, once he got set, he punished anything that he thought was hittable.
The highlight of his knock came in the 12th over when he dispatched Chris Woakes for three fours in an over. The first was glanced through square-leg, the second creamed through point and the final one was the best of the lot as he smashed Woakes through mid-wicket for another four.
His shot of the match though came in the 36th over when he delicately used his wrist to flick Steven Finn for a boundary through the midwicket region. That shot exactly described just how well he was batting.
The excitement amongst the sparse crowd at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium went up a notch when he charged down the wicket and hit two inside out drives off Moeen Ali in the 40th over to reach the three-figure mark. It was a sign that showed that the left-hander wanted to stamp his authority on the innings.
However, his exciting knock ended anticlimactically with Tamim surprisingly trying to pad an incoming delivery from Moeen Ali outside the off stump. The umpire had given that out almost immediately and although Tamim reviewed, the decision stood.
“I really don’t know what I did there,” Tamim said sheepishly when enquired about the manner of his dismissal during the post-day press conference yesterday.
“Actually that was the third time I tried to leave such a ball outside the off stump. I don’t know why I kept doing that. I didn’t do it purposely. Even if I had played a shot or just touched it with my bat I would have been safe. I don’t have any answer for that,” said Tamim.
He however, said that he was happy to have reached the landmark yet again.
“I always like to play attacking cricket and that’s why I will rate this century highly as well. It took me 18 balls to get off the mark and I thought I overcame that situation quite well too.
“Every century is special for me. Hopefully I can continue the good run,” concluded Tamim.