There were only three Test hundreds scored by a Bangladeshi batsman in New Zealand until yesterday -- Shakib Al Hasan's imperious double hundred in 2017, Mushfiqur Rahim's 159 in the same innings and Mahmudullah Riyad's 115-run knock in Hamilton in 2010.
Tamim Iqbal became the fourth yesterday at Seddon Park, hitting a run-a-ball century on the first day of the first Test against the Kiwis.
The left-hander, who continued to be in terrific touch during a 128-ball 126, was the only standout Bangladesh batsman in the first innings after the Tigers were asked to bat. Despite Tamim's brilliant knock, the visitors were bowled out for 234.
The 29-year-old claimed the record for the fastest Test century by a Bangladesh batsman away from home with a 94-ball century against England at Lord's in 2010. And yesterday, he equalled his own record for the second-fastest century by a Bangladeshi away from home with a 100-ball ton. Originally, he set that record against England in Manchester in 2010.
It was Tamim's ninth Test century, the most by a Bangladeshi, his first away from home after nine years and his fourth ton overseas.
Interestingly, former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Harris has witnessed all four centuries by Bangladesh's batsmen in his land from the commentary box, including yesterday's blistering knock which featured 21 fours and a six. And according to Harris, in terms of dominating the opposition, it was Tamim's knock which stood out.
"It's always hard to go past two hundred but for me, this was possibly the most dominant because it was the first day of a Test match. When your side is put in to bat, generally the batsmen look to survive. But he came out and looked to dominate and scored a lot of boundaries. He actually put New Zealand under a lot of pressure. So I would have to say this one is the most dominant hundred by a Bangladeshi batsman in New Zealand," Harris told The Daily Star yesterday.
However, the 49-year-old who played 23 Tests and 250 ODIs was disappointed to see the way Tamim was dismissed, saying he thought the left-hander would strike a double ton.
“It was a fabulous inning but I was so disappointed with the way it came to an end. For me, it looked like he was going to score a double hundred but it came to an end when he played a shot which made it seem like he was little tired. I am sure Tamim will be disappointed by the way he got out, but he shouldn't be disappointed for too long as it was a brilliant knock."