Tigers’ win series Tamim stars

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Dhaka, 2 September: Bangladesh at last satisfied the home fans with winning the three-match ODI series over Afghanistan when they won the grand finale by 141  runs at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the catamimpital yesterday. The win also marked Tigers’ 100th win in one day international cricket.
Bangladesh bowlers right from the start did not allow the Afghan batsmen to settle in the crease and ultimately booked the visitors for 138 in 33.5 overs. Baring a 47-run partnership between Nawroz Mongol (33) and Rahmat Shah (36) no other batsmen could produce adequate resistance against the Tigers attack, who brought two changes to the team bringing in veteran Mosharraf  Hossain Rubel after eight years and pacer Shafiul Islam after two years. Mosharraf finished to be the most successful bowler for Bangladesh taking
three for 24.
Earlier, the Tigers squandered a good chance to take the score past 300 despite opener Tamim Iqbal gave them a strong platform by smashing a run-a-ball 118 in the series deciding third ODI.
Tamim’s ton was followed by a mini middle order collapse before Mahmudulah Riyad brought the side back in the contention with an unbeaten 22 ball-32 as Bangladesh racked up 279 for eight.
The 118 runs knock in which Tamim hit 11 fours and two sixes, was Tamim’s seventh ODI century which put him a solo position of leading the century tally for Bangladesh, eclipsing Shakib Al Hasan.
But the most important aspect was his batting was he held together the fragile batting line up even though he was not at his best in the business. He could have gone before opening the account but to his delight Ashghar Stanikzai put down a sitter at mid-on as Tamim tried to pull Mohammad Nabi but miscued being fooled by the extra bounce.
That was the only chance he though gave, Tamim wasn’t as dominating as he is used to be. But he still rallied the innings with the astute help of Sabbir Rahman who promoted to the No. 3, a strategic move that proved to be masterstroke. Mahmudullah Riyad didn’t fare badly in this position but the team management pondered Riyad could be more aggressive component that Sabbir in the later order because of his versatility which later was proved preciously.
Soumya Sarkar however yet again perished to a loose shot on 11, prompted Sabbir to come to the crease. His tenacity to tick the scoreboard at swift pace however took the pressure off Tamim who was bit rickety at the start.
As Sabbir scored runs without any hassle, Tamim regained his mozo gradually and once he got his eye his, he unleashed some powerful shots from his repertoire. He firstly took Mirwais Ashraf in disdain to steady himself and then played with assured hands till he got out. He and Sabbir combined for a 140-run before the later got out after scoring his career best 65, hitting six fours and three sixes in 79 balls.
After his dismissal, Tamim brought up his seventh century in 110 balls. Tamim then struck four and two sixes in a row to make the Afghan bowlers disarray but the similar effort brought an end to his knock.
Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim failed to utilize the platform set by Tamim as both of them played wretched shot to pay the price.
As Bangladesh were destined to propel past 300, the regular wicket falls resisted Bangladesh to go for all out attack. While Mushfiqur Rahim was not in form and once again paid the price of playing across the line, Shakib probably did the worst thing by playing a lazy shot. His dismissal left Bangladesh actually ruing for 20/30 runs more. Riyad however made some amends by his late onslaught and took Bangladesh a safe distance. Off-spinner Mohammad Nabi, leg-spinner Rashid Khan and medium pacer Mirwais Ashraf claimed two wickets apiece.