20 Glorious Moments in Tests (1)

A century that led the way

Ashfaq-ul-Alam | Published: 23:08, Jun 05,2020

 
 

A file photo from November 11, 2000 shows Bangladesh batsman Aminul Islam celebrating his hundred against India at the BNS. — AFP photo

On June 26, 2020 Bangladesh will complete 20 years of gaining its Test status. To commemorate the milestone New Age looks back at 20 Glorious Moments of Bangladesh in Test cricket of the past two decades.

On November 10, 2000 Bangladesh began their journey in cricket’s most regal format against India and an entire nation lied in anticipation to see something special from their own cricketing heroes.

The thousands in the stands of the Bangabandhu National Stadium and millions following the action on tv and radio were not disappointed as they witnessed Aminul Islam registering the country’s first Test century.

Aminul’s ton placed him alongside Australia’s Charles Bannerman and Zimbabwe’s Dave Houghton as the third player to score a ton in his country’s maiden Test and in 2018 Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien joined them with his century against Pakistan.

‘I am very lucky to be part of some historic moments of Bangladesh cricket. The first World Cup, first Test and first 100, that’s why people still remember me,’ Aminul told New Age.

Bangladesh, the outright underdogs in that match, won the toss and ended up posting a hefty first innings score of 400, mainly thanks to Aminul’s century.

The inexperienced hosts were put under pressure early after losing both openers inside 17 overs with the score on 44-2 when Aminul came to the middle.

Aminul exemplified patience and temperament, qualities rarely seen in cricketers from novice teams, taking 179 balls to reach his fifty and batted till stumps on Day one to remain unbeaten on 70.

The right-hander continued his innings with the same composure on Day two and reached the milestone in the morning session to send an entire nation into ecstasy.

‘When I reached 90, I was batting with Pilot [Khaled Mashud]. He reminded me that I am nearing century. Then I became cautious. When I used to play for Mohammedan the crowd liked my paddle sweep and I reached my 100 with that shot.’

Aminul pushed on after reaching the milestone, taking his score to 145 off 380 deliveries, before finally getting caught of pacer Ajit Agarkar as the ninth batsman.

Aminul batted for almost nine hours in that innings, hitting 17 fours, and his heroics made the hosts dream of a positive result.

But India bounced back thanks to Sunil Joshi’s 92 and skipper Sourav Ganguly’s 84 to reach 429 in their reply and secured a 29-run lead.

In the second innings, Aminul was once more summoned to the middle early, but this time Agarkar trapped him leg-before for just six off 21 balls.

Without him anchoring the innings, Bangladesh batting line-up crumbled and they were all out for 96, setting a 63-run target for the visitors, which they easily achieved with nine wickets in hand.

Many Bangladeshi batsmen have crossed the three-figure mark in Tests since then, but none of those innings had as big an impact in Bangladesh cricket as Aminul’s century.

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