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19 March, 2017 11:33:16 PM / LAST MODIFIED: 19 March, 2017 11:39:51 PM

Roaring Tigers celebrate centenary Test in style

Sports Reporter
Roaring Tigers celebrate centenary Test in style
Triumphant Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim (L) and Mehedi Hasan race towards the dressing room after toppling Sri Lanka by four in their centenerary Test at The P’ Sara Oval Cricket Stadium in Colombo yesterday. BCB PHOTO

Bangladesh became the only fourth country in the cricket’s 140-year history to win their centenary Test as they beat hosts Sri Lanka by four wickets in a crunch final day’s play at P Sara Oval yesterday. 

By doing so, Bangladesh also became the second country after Pakistan to register their 100th Test match victory away from home. Pakistan’s 71 runs victory over Australia in 1979 at Melbourne was the most improbable one.
Australia and West Indies were the other two teams which won their centenary Test. While Australia’s victory over South Africa at the margin of innings and 88 runs in a neutral venue (England’s Old Trafford) 1912, West Indies beat Australia by 179 runs at Sabina Park, Kingston in 1965.  
Bangladesh also registered victory in their 100th ODI when they beat India by 15 runs in 2004 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium. 
The landmark Test victory came at the moment when country’s cricket was in the jeopardized position following an internal problem inside the team due to  axing of senior player Mahmudullah Riyad from the Test side. Such was the uproar that Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan Papon had to fly to Sri Lanka to take the situation under control. 
But this at the same time showed that Bangladesh love to play under pressure and in landmark occasion as well as create history when their back is against the wall. 
The landmark victory however was in the sight when Bangladesh took a 129 runs lead, piling up 467 in reply of Sri Lanka’s 338. This was the biggest lead they achieved in any away Test. Sri Lanka refused to give in as they set 191 runs target for Bangladesh on difficult fifth day pitch. 
Opener Tamim Iqbal was instrumental in helping Bangladesh overcoming the nervous first hour. He laid a rock-solid foundation with a vital half-century - one of his best Test innings. He showed assured footwork against spin: he was right forward to blunt full balls or right back to deal with the short balls. He then opened up with crunching drives, reverse sweeps and lofts. One such loft landed on the second floor of a corporate box.  Sabbir Rahman, picked over Mahmudullah, showed excellent judgement as well in a century stand with Tamim. The two set batsmen exited in quick succession, but Mushfiqur helped Bangladesh past the late hiccups.
Tamim’s scintillating knock earned him the man of the match award. He said, “I think this win started when we lost the match in Galle. We had a long chat with the coach, and the players stepped up. The way the bowlers bowled in the first innings was quite exceptional. That changed the whole thing. When you are chasing this kind of total, you have to be a little aggressive. Me and Sabbir were talking in the middle to look for runs. All came good except the last shot. The coach has backed us a lot. We are very lucky to have him.”
If there is any victory for Bangladesh, Shakib is always there to contribute something. Here in centenary Test, he became the seventh batsman who scored century on their 100th Test. He was also at his best with batting and bowling in the whole series and thereby achieved the man of the series award.
“This was a very important win. It wasn't easy. We had to come back strongly after the first Test. I just play my shots. As I said, the way Chandimal batted in the first innings it told me if I apply myself I could score runs.”
Under Mushfiqur Rahim’s captaincy, now Bangladesh had achieved two much-wanted victory –a victory against a top flight opposition which they earned, beating England at home in the last year and a victory against a top flight opponent in away Test.
Mushfiqur said, “The bowlers did a great job - Mustafiz and Shakib's spells were outstanding on a flat track. It showed the character of the team. The boys really stepped up under pressure and there were lot of partnerships in the bowling. I really enjoyed it. If you look at the last few series, we have played some good cricket.”
Though he was criticised for allegedly intervening the team selection issue, Chandika Hathurusingha now became the most successful coach ever for Bangladesh. After making Bangladesh a regular winner in ODI cricket from a team capable of occasional flashes of brilliance, Hathurusingha now guided Bangladesh two rare Test victory which was badly needed for the country to step ahead.
“The boys deserved this win. They have worked very, very hard. I am very happy for them. We knew we need to make some changes. Getting a lead on the third day was crucial. Tamim has been doing really well in all formats in the last year. He is a senior citizen and he is showing it in the middle. These boys are an emotional bunch, sometimes when they get close, they get ahead of emotions. That will come with good, pressure cricket at the highest level. I can't go hard on Tamim's dismissal,” Hathurusingha said.



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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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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.

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