Despite scoring his career best 144 off140 balls against Zimbabwe, experienced opener Imrul Kayes on Sunday said that he would put his innings against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup ahead of it.
Imrul struck a sensational knock in the series opener against Zimbabwe, which not only helped Bangladesh score a competitive total, but also made a giant statement in his stop-start career.
Until his surprise late call up in the national team during the Asia Cup in UAE, his limited-over career thought to be over but the 31-year old revived his career with crucial knocks within a month.
Imrul joined the team in the Asia Cup late and made an unbeaten 72-run innings against Afghanistan in a do-or-die encounter to give his career a new beginning.
He followed his knock with match-winning hundred on Sunday that brought his ODI career now firmly back on track.
‘I will say that it is one of good innings in my career. But the innings against Afghanistan was very special for me,’ Imrul told reporters after hitting his third ODI century in Mirpur.
‘It was scored in a tournament like Asia Cup after I got a sudden call in the team. Obviously it was very challenging for me and I played that very well. Obviously I will put that ahead as it was very essential in my career.
‘Ultimately when you play well it is always good for your team. Because of that innings, Bangladesh were able to win this match and I am grateful to Almighty for that,’ he added.
Imrul’s hundred against Zimbabwe was nonetheless equally crucial as Bangladesh were held to 139-6 and desperately needed someone to carry their innings.
‘I was struggling in the initial period. I could not play drives and the balls were jumping from any areas. When I tried to play strokes, wickets fell from the other side. So I have to make the adjustments,’ he said.
‘I made my intention to play till the end. I understood that 250-260 could be a good score here. [ I am glad] that finally I was able to get success.
‘When you score a century or play a good innings that helps your team to win – it’s always a great feeling,’ he said.
From a very crucial time I build up the innings and scored for the team which is a matter of joy for me. Now my team will celebrate my innings,’ he added.
Imrul also credited youngster Mohammad Saifuddin, who scored a crucial 50 off 69 balls and shared 127-run for the seventh wicket with the left-hander.
‘Saifuddin made a comeback in the team after a long time. But in that circumstance the way he played, I would obviously give him the credit for that. Despite being a young player, he handled the situation well.’
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