Five special innings of Ashraful

Abdullah M. Rafi | Published: 00:05, Aug 13,2018 | Updated: 23:11, Aug 12,2018


A June 18, 2005 file photo shows Bangladesh batsman Mohammad Ashraful celebrates his hundred against Australia at Cardiff during their tri-nation tournament in United Kingdom. — AFP photo

114 v Sri Lanka, Colombo 2001
No teenager could perhaps announce his arrival in international cricket better than Mohammad Ashraful did in 2001 during an Asian Test championship match against Sri Lanka in Colombo. Against the likes of Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas, Ashraful made 114 off 212 deliveries to create a word record at the age of 17 years, a record that still remained intact. The innings also earned a simultaneous world record of youngest debutant to score a Test century. Ashraful jointly shared the man of the match prize with Muralitharan after the match.

158 v India, Chittagong 2004
Mohammad Ashraful was passing some good times in the middle of the pitch during the year of 2004 but he was yet to find the perfect three-digit knock. During the second Test of two-match series against India in Chittagong, Ashraful finally got his second Test hundred when he scored 158 off 194 balls, an innings that the then Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly described as one of the best Test knocks he had seen. The innings had remained as Bangladesh’s highest ever Test score for nearly a decade.

100 v Australia, Cardiff 2005
Perhaps one of the finest innings in one-day international history, Ashraful hit 100 off 101 balls against all conquering Australian side, helping Bangladesh cause huge upset in Wales capital Cardiff in 2005. It was only the second ODI century by a Bangladeshi, which silenced many critics of Bangladesh. The five-wicket win of Bangladesh, Bangladesh’s maiden ODI win over Australia, is now part of cricket folklore, which has given Ashraful a permanent place in history.

87 v South Africa, Guyana 2007
Bangladesh, who were flying above the sky after reaching the super-eight spot for the first time in the World Cup 2007, faced title contenders South Africa in their third match with odds highly against them. But Ashraful chose this game to play another special knock, hitting 87 of 83 balls that set-up a 67-run win for Bangladesh. On his way to the innings, Ashraful hit some paddle sweeps that no other batsman could hit as perfectly as him previously.

190 v Sri Lanka, Galle 2013
Ashraful had a lot to prove to his millions of spectators against Sri Lanka in 2013 as he couldn’t make his way to the previous Test series against West Indies in home. And many of the critics considered his as over. But Ashraful reproduced his magic again when he played a classic 190 off 417 balls innings, spending nearly 500 minutes on the pitch, overtaking his own record of Bangladesh’s highest ever Test innings. His new record, however, survived barely few hours after Mushfiqur Rahim hit a double century in the same Test.

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