Hometown boy Tamim ends 7-year wait
Having taken off his helmet, Bangladesh star opener Tamim Iqbal raised his arms in celebration as he reached his 10th Test ton during Bangladesh's first innings against Sri Lanka on day three of the Chattogram Test at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury today.
Tamim, who is a hometown hero in Chattogram, has dominated proceedings on day three during a 162-run stand with Mahmudul Hasan Joy. However, Tamim lost his partner Joy as the right-hander gloved a short stuff from Asitha Fernando to depart for 58.
But Tamim did not lose control as he marked his domineering approach with an eye-catching pull shot in front of square to go to 99 in the first delivery of Asitha's next over. Next delivery, he tucked one to the leg side to bring up his 10th Test ton.
The Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium (ZACS) has not always been a happy hunting ground for Tamim and today's ton against Sri Lanka was just his second in the format at his home ground. The last time he scored a century at ZACS was on November 12, 2014 against Zimbabwe, more than seven years ago.
Tamim is playing in his sixth Test in Chattogram since that ton against Zimbabwe and his highest score at the ground has been the 78 run-knock he struck against England in 2016. Tamim's approach in this innings so far has shown his confidence and trust in the bounce of the pitch, picking up 15 fours on the way with some swashbuckling strokeplay.
Tamim needed 162 deliveries to reach his ton today and had a few hiccups following the ton. He was given out caught-behind n the 56th over off Ramesh Mendis but Tamim overturned the decision through a review as replays showed the ball had not taken the edge of his bat. He then suffered a cramp to his hand and was helped with some hand stretches by Sri Lanka fielders to ease the pain. Following a drinks break, Tamim got a life when he was dropped at slip by Dhananjaya de Silva off Mendis while batting on 114.
The opener is currently batting on 128, having lost Najmul Hossain Shanto and Mominul Haque as batting partners. Tamim's ton is also his first Test ton in 39 months. His last century was against New Zealand in Hamilton on 28 February, 2019. There had been a few nervous nineties in between. Following that Test in Hamilton, Tamim had reached six half-centuries and gotten out in the 90s twice.
The century will be relished as it has come in his home town but the batter will also relish getting a ton after having failed to convert a few 70-odd innings as well.