Remember the 18-year-old opener from Bangladesh taking on bowlers like Zaheer Khan down the wicket by showing no signs of respect to the elder statesmen, that too in a World Cup with confidence oozing from each shot played?
That fearless batter 15 years later, who is now Bangladesh’s ODI skipper, has played one such vintage Tamim Iqbal innings yesterday as he took the fans on a trip down the memory lane and oversaw his team to the dawn of history.
Though Bangladesh was chasing a modest total of 155, the early nerves of creating a historic win were definitely there. But the experience and flamboyance of Tamim Iqbal made sure none remained for too long.
The classic Tamim Iqbal flurry of shots early on in his innings against both spin and pace meant that Bangladesh did not have to look back for once.
The Protea bowlers tried everything starting from short balls to bowling spin outside off stump, but on his day, Tamim knows no stopping. Just to put emphasis upon how ruthless he was, Tamim hit four boundaries in a single over off the bowling of Kagiso Rabada.
Over the years, the role of Tamim Iqbal has changed quite a lot at the top order who nowadays is mostly accustomed to playing the anchor role as the opener. However, innings like these when boundaries come in fanatic waves are just as delightful as the 51 from 53 balls against India at the 2007 World Cup at Port of Spain.
When shots seamlessly find the middle of Tamim Iqbal’s bat, it’s almost as if the opener is batting in a different dimension altogether, much to the entertainment of the Bangladeshi fans who often adore such big-hitting batting from him.
Tamim’s innings of 87 from 82 balls consisted of 14 fours at a strike rate of 106.1. It was his first fifty in ODI cricket since his last century in Zimbabwe last year in the month of June.
Bangladesh’s skipper finished the ODI series as the highest run-getter (129) at an average of 64.5. On top of his form with the bat, he became the first Bangladeshi captain to secure a series win in South Africa.
The Tigers now rest comfortably at the top of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League with 120 points winning 12 matches out of the 18 they have played so far.