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22 October, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Kayes proves again as opener with a ton

Sports Reporter
Kayes proves again as opener with a ton
Bangladesh opener Imrul Kayes celebrates his third ODI century against Zimbabwe during the first one-day international match at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the capital yesterday. BCB Photo

Imrul Kayes’s 140 ball-144 was the testament of how he likes the opening position, a spot that he repeatedly revealed as his favoured option when the team management tried to use him in other batting positions. For the sake of playing in the national team, he never refused to bat down the order but that didn’t come as good for him.

Starting the national team career as No. 3 batsman, Kayes promoted to opening position in his just second match alongside Tamim Iqbal and showcased his mettle with two centuries and 15 half-centuries under his belt before he was dropped following some poor scores.

He forced his way back on the back of superb domestic performance but saw his opening position was grabbed by Soumya Sarkar, leaving the team management as an option to use him at No.3. But he responded with series of single digit scores before being dropped again. Kayes refused to give up and again forced his way back. This time he was used as No. 6 batsman, particularly as part of strategy  to defuse Afghanistan spin attack. However after a couple of games in Asia Cup, he was promoted to No.3 position and again got a single digit figure.

He probably couldn’t make a come back again unless Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal weren’t ruled out from the series due to their injury. Though Nazmul Hossain Shanto was an option in opening position, team management kept faith on Kayes as he got the chance to play in his favourite position. And he responded  like he is made for this place.

His epic 144 runs knock was second best individual ODI innings alongside Mushfiqur Rahim by a Bangladeshi batsman, behind Tamim Iqbal’s 154, which also came against Zimbabwe in 2009.

Kayes had the chance to better the record but he had to be aggressive for the sake of the team because there weren’t too many overs left. However still his effort was monumental given Bangladesh were on their way to be bowled out cheaply.

Statistics showed his fondness for the opening position in which he scored 2010 runs at an average of almost 33, which was three runs better than his overall career average. He scored just 134 runs in No.3 position at a meager average of 13.

However it looked like Mashrafe Mortaza's fears about the unpredictability of the Mirpur pitch came true when Kyle Jarvis's three-wicket burst reduced them to 139 for six in the 30th over. But Imrul Kayes and Mohammad Saifuddin led a miraculous recovery with a 127-run stand for the seventh wicket.

Kayes brought up his third ODI ton off 118 balls before launching an all out attack. He ended with 144 off 140 with 13 fours and six sixes, while Saifuddin too hit his maiden ODI fifty. In the end, Bangladesh ended with 271 for eight which looked like a distant dream at one stage.

Kayes’s serenity was the thing that comforted nervous Saifuddin who edged one after another in the early of the innings. Zimbabwe thought they got him when the batsman was on 9 but third umpire ruled it out after it was clear that the catch was not perfect.

However when Kayes launched an attack on Zimbabwe bowlers, Saifuddin too grew with confidence to take the bowlers in disdain and Bangladesh got the score that they expected after winning the toss.

Kayes got out in the penultimate over but before he made it clear, he is destined to be an opener.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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