The left-hander however broke the wall as he emerged fiery against a bite less Zimbabwe attack and played the highest individual innings as a Bangladeshi in this format
Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal answered his critics with a blistering 158 off 138 deliveries in the second ODI of the series against Zimbabwe, taking the Tigers to a record 322/8 in the first innings at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.
Tamim had been facing significant criticism from the media recently for adopting a cautious approach to batting in limited overs cricket. Many wondered whether he was suited to the anchor role or should be playing more aggressively.
However, the left hander did not seem like he was under any pressure as he posted the highest individual score by a Bangladeshi in ODIs. Tamim broke his own record of 154 against the same opposition at Bulawayo in 2009.
The century on Tuesday was Tamim’s first in the format since 2018. His last ton in ODIs had come during a tour of West Indies 21 months, or 23 innings, ago. The southpaw had been in blistering form against the Caribbean side, scoring two centuries and a half-century in the three-match ODI series.
The latest century extended Tamim’s lead as the Bangladeshi with the most ODI hundreds. He now has 12, while Shakib al Hasan is in second with nine.
Having been criticized for being slow, Tamim scored 49 off 38 deliveries, including 10 boundaries, in the first 10 overs against Zimbabwe on Tuesday. He reached his half-century off 42 deliveries.
When Tamim got to 84, the batsman from Chittagong became the first to score 7,000 ODI runs for Bangladesh.
Considering the circumstances, one may have expected Tamim to celebrate wildly when he reached his century off 106 balls. However, the batsman barely acknowledged the milestone, only raising his bat slightly to the dressing room.
Subsequently, the left hander became more aggressive against the Zimbabwe bowlers. He reached 150 for the second time in his ODI career by smashing leg spinner Tinotenda Mutombodzi for three boundaries and one six on four consecutive deliveries before smashing Zimbabwe captain Sean Williams for another six. It took Tamim just 26 deliveries to go from 100 to 150.
Once again, there was no celebration from the experienced opener.
On the next delivery, Tamim smacked Carl Mumba for a six to surpass his previous record of 154, before perishing in the same over by getting caught on the boundary.
On the way to posting the highest individual ODI score by a Bangladeshi, Tamim also set the record for most fours in a single ODI innings with 20. He had previously shared the record with Shahriar Nafees, as both had struck 17.