Afghanistan batsman Rahmat Shah came agonisingly close to becoming the first player to score a hundred for the side in the longest format of the game when he was dismissed on 98 during the second Test against Ireland in March earlier this year.
That missed opportunity seems to have had a huge impact on the stylish right-hander as he displayed sheer class and determination to finally achieve the feat in his very next Test match, the one against Bangladesh which began yesterday.
The 26-year-old created history by becoming the first Afghan to score a century in Tests. More importantly though, the ton helped his side avert a crisis as Afghanistan were struggling on 48 for two at one point on the first day of the one-off Test at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium in Chattogram.
Rahmat took his time at the crease, adjusted to the pace of the pitch and negotiated the good deliveries with tremendous focus and concentration as Afghanistan went on to post 271 for five.
Rahmat and fellow veteran batsman Asghar Afghan paired up to add 120 runs for the fourth wicket against the hosts, who opted for an all-spin bowling approach.
The right-hander eventually reached the feat with a boundary off a Nayeem Hasan delivery but was ultimately dismissed on 102.
“I dreamt of becoming the first centurion for Afghanistan so naturally I was very upset when I got out on 98 against Ireland. Today, I got the chance and scored a century. It is a proud moment for me. I was the first person to have a half century [in Tests] for the country and now the full century,” a jubilant Rahmat told reporters yesterday.
Rahmat said the feat was made possible through hard work he put in at the four-day practice matches which prepared him for the longer version. Rahmat also opined that his side are in a good position in the ongoing match despite having lost an extra wicket.
“It was my plan to play on the front foot. They were bowling with good line and length and had a good field setup for me. It was not easy for me to score runs that is why I was using the crease and coming on the front foot,” he said.