Iqbal defies Indian attack with blistering century

AFP , DHAKA

Wed, Jan 27, 2010 - Page 20

Bangladeshi opener Tamim Iqbal put India’s attack to the sword with a blistering 151 on the third day of the second and final Test in Dhaka yesterday.

The left-hander dominated a record 200-run stand for the second wicket with Junaid Siddique (55) as Bangladesh reached 228-3 in their second innings at stumps.

But the hosts still face a stiff task to save the match, needing 83 more runs with seven wickets in hand to make India bat again after conceding a 311-run lead.

Iqbal completed his second Test hundred off just 101 balls, the fastest by a Bangladeshi. His stand with Siddique was also Bangladesh’s highest for any wicket in Test cricket.

Iqbal, 20, delighted the crowd with bold strokeplay, smashing three sixes and 18 fours in his career-best knock. He spared neither seamers nor spinners as he kept playing attacking shots on both sides of the wicket.

Indian seamer Zaheer Khan struck in the third over when he had Bangladeshi opener Imrul Kayes (five) caught by substitute Dinesh Karthik, who dived forward to hold on to the ball at short cover.

The visitors then had to wait for more than 51 overs for the next success as Iqbal and Siddique bolstered the innings with their contrasting knocks.

Zaheer broke the partnership when he had Siddique caught behind. The Bangladeshi batsman, who relied more on singles and twos, hit only five fours in his 144-ball knock.

The Indian seamer then got the big wicket in the day’s penultimate over when he had Iqbal caught behind.

India earlier declared their first innings closed at their lunch total of 544-8 in reply to the hosts’ 233, with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni making a solid 89.

The visitors added 85 to their overnight total of 459-5, with Dhoni contributing 67.