Sublime Sakib touches new height

Every time Sakib al Hasan takes the bat or ball he gets a reason to look for something special in the ongoing series against Zimbabwe. The first one-day international in Chittagong on Friday was also not an exception. Making a comeback in the ODI side, Sakib, the newly-appointed vice-captain, saw the team wobbling at 3-31, meaning he had to concentrate on rebuilding the innings immediately. Before he settled in, Sakib also lost his partner Mominul Haque that left Bangladesh at 4-70 putting them in danger of a below-par total on a solid batting pitch putting Zimbabwe firmly on top. But Sakib helped Bangladesh claw their way back and got an able partner in Mushfiqur Rahim as the duo put a record 148-run for the fifth wicket to lead Bangladesh to 281-7. Sakib scored 101 runs from 99 balls, his sixth ODI century and third against Zimbabwe which also helped him complete the double of scoring at least 2000 runs and grab 100 wickets on home soil. It put him alongside Sanath Jayasuria, Steve Waugh and Jacques Kallis to achieve the feat. Sakib,

already the leading run scorer for Bangladesh in ODIs, gave two half chances at four and nine runs, respectively at gully and short-cover and made Zimbabwe pay for not grabbing them. Apart from those two mistakes he played his innings at his usual pace to showcase his ability that brought his first ODI hundred in four years since he made 106 against New Zealand at Dhaka in 2010. Sakib just did not end up showing his batting skill but also did what he usually does best—mesmerising Zimbabwe with his bowling. Zimbabwe made a positive start to their innings reaching 46 runs in their first seven overs before Sakib put a brake with a double strike in only his second over. It brought the momentum back to Bangladesh’s way as the visitors inevitably slowed down before being finally dismissed for 194 runs. Sakib took two more wickets in his second spell and with a slice of luck could have ended up with his maiden five-wicket haul in the ODIs.

A catch narrowly missed by the fielder in his final over, denied him a greater feat. Only two cricketers – Vivian Richards and Paul Collingwood – have got five or more wickets and scored a century in the same ODI. Sakib achieved the similar feat in Test to join Imran Khan and Ian Botham when he scored 137 runs in innings and claimed 10 wickets in the same Test in Khulna earlier this month. Though Sakib missed the feat in ODIs, he can still be proud as very few players could score a century and claim four wickets in the same match. Before him only 11 players could achieve it. Sakib regretted for missing out on his five-wicket haul. ‘I enjoyed my batting but I would have enjoyed if I could get five wickets as I am yet to get that,’ he said. ‘Probably I was nervous while bowling as I sensed the feat. But never mind as I am sure I will get my second chance.’

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