The very underrated Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan demolished the famed West Indies pace attack with a brilliant century during their ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 group match at County Ground, Taunton on Monday.
Chasing a tall target of 322 runs, Bangladesh got off to a good start with openers Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar posting a 52-run opening stand inside the ninth over. Then, Shakib arrived. And they won by seven wickets with 51 balls remaining.
The top-ranked all-rounder did lose a couple of partners in Iqbal and experienced Mushfiqur Rahim, but he continued to play exhilarating shots against a bowling attack which has the likes of Sheldon Cottrell, Jason Holder, Andre Russell, etc.
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He now has scores of 75, 64, 121, 124 not out in the tournament. The 32-year-old reached his second successive hundred with a four off the last ball of the 34th over as Bangladesh inched closer to a big win. He took just 85 balls.
Earlier, he took two wickets during West Indies' innings, those of Evin Lewis and Nicholas Pooran -- each time, breaking a burgeoning stand.
In the process, he created a host of records, including century and two wickets in a match for the fifth time (which is joint-most with Chris Gayle), 50+ score and two wickets for the 23rd time (joint-most with Jacques Kallis), 50+ score and wicket for sixth time in a World Cup match (joint-most with Tillakaratne Dilshan).
And fans can hold themselves back. Here are some reactions.
Brilliant century, full of sumptuous shots, from Shakib. Very very watchable. Bangladesh on the highway to an easy win— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) June 17, 2019
LOOK AT SHAKIB AL HASAN! Bangladesh bringing this cup alive!— Vikramjit Singh (@Vikramjit_S) June 17, 2019
Finch, Kohli, Warner, Rohit, Williamson, Root, Smith, Roy, Buttler all playing at the World Cup, but it's the brilliant Shakib Al Hasan who is the leading runscorer in the tournament #CWC19— ðÂÂÂLovely doctorðÂÂÂðÂÂÂðÂÂ¡ (@khandanidoctor) June 17, 2019
Despite his brilliant numbers and ability to win matches single-handedly, Shakib remains one of the most underrated stars of world cricket.
Shakib made his international debut in an ODI match against Zimbabwe at Harare in 2006.