‘I feel I am still dreaming’

His unbeaten 141 in the BPL final against Dhaka Dynamites became an out-of-body experience for Tamim Iqbal. He said that he needed a little more time to fully grasp the enormity of his knock, one that contained a Bangladesh record 11 sixes and ten fours, and which turned out to be 70.85% of Comilla Victorians’ total in the final.

It was such a one-man show that Tamim not only gave the Victorians a good start, he also built partnerships, held it together in the middle overs and then had to slog all the way through to the last over. The rest of their batsmen contributed only 47 runs off 59 balls.

Parts of Tamim’s innings were truly unique to his style of batting. He has 20 international hundreds, and has figured out how to go about run-scoring in Tests and ODIs, in different circumstances. But this involved pacing an innings and never dropping off in his strike rate, which ended up being 231.14 after facing 61 balls.

Tamim said that the plan to treat one bowler – Sunil Narine – with respect paid dividends. He batted at a 246-plus strike rate against Rubel Hossain and Andre Russell, and then despite having a more defensive mindset against Shakib Al Hasan, went after him for 30 runs off 10 balls.

“To be honest, I feel I am still dreaming,” Tamim said. “I still don’t know how I batted. I think I can explain better after I see the highlights. At one stage I got very pissed when [Anamul Haque] Bijoy got out. I had to calm myself down and start again. I am sure that when I see the highlights, I can say it better.

“I honestly never thought I’d play such a knock but I think I planned it really nicely. I didn’t want to give a wicket to Shakib [Al Hasan] and [Sunil] Narine, who were Dhaka’s most successful bowlers. I hardly took any risk against Narine apart from one six. It was an unbelievably good wicket so I backed myself against the pacers.”

several disappointments and some controversies in the past editions. “It was very personal,” he said. “I always wanted to win a cup. The monkey is off my back.”

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