Khulna Royal Bengals v Duronto Rajshahi, BPL 2013, Khulna January 24, 2013

Unbelievable to have scored a hundred - Nafees


Shahriar Nafees had a stunned look in his eyes after he had completed his hundred, the first by a Bangladeshi batsman in Twenty20s. Ordinary performances in the format by him made this innings a bit surprising, but according to his opening partner Lou Vincent, who has scored two centuries in Twenty20s, Nafees looked good for a big one this evening.

Vincent and Nafees put together an unbroken 197-run opening stand, a world record for the first innings in a Twenty20 game, and pumped some much needed life into a dull tournament. They hugged each other at the press conference, after hearing it was the first time a team hadn't lost a wicket in the first innings of a Twenty20 match.

"I have never played such an innings, at least not in T20s," Nafees said. "I didn't think about reaching a hundred until I had crossed fifty. I just wanted to bat till the end."

Nafees smiled broadly while explaining the final moments of his innings, as he reached his century off 67 balls. "It is a bit unbelievable that I have scored a T20 hundred," he said.

His opening partner Vincent played a major hand in his innings by freeing him up to let him play his own game. Vincent, in his unbeaten 51-ball 89, struck eight sixes, hit long and hard, and he said that batsmen with more strength are far more likely to hit Twenty20 hundreds. "You have to set the tone by utilising the field by hitting boundaries over the top in the first six overs," Vincent said.

"Then you have to build from that. It is always good to get a Twenty20 century. Chris Gayle has nine but that's pure strength and class. Little guys like us, we have to run real fast."

Nafees, for his part, was resourceful at the crease. He used its depth and placed the ball in gaps in several parts of the ground. He lofted the ball quite a few times too, especially against the spinners, and had three of his boundaries dropping just short of the rope. Nafees has the ability to play all around the wicket, which showed in this innings. His repeated use of the scoop is, however, a new addition.

The knock also injected some motivation into his team-mates after they went down in the first three games. Khulna Royal Bengals have finally given their hometown something to cheer about, and Nafees' century could improve attendances at the ground, a factor that has been a worry for the BPL this year.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent

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  • KH. RAFIQUE on January 27, 2013, 10:49 GMT

    Cant believe its Nafees who has made the century!!!!Congrats to him but still i would say that he is no good for our national TESTs and ODIs side by far moon....Can be taken into T20s but not sure he would do well in Internationals????

  • Mike on January 25, 2013, 20:20 GMT

    I don't understand why so many Bangladesh fans are frustrated with him when he plays nationally, he's nowhere near worse compared to both Tamim and Ashraful when it comes to consistency. I'll bring him back to the national team but play him in 3, 4 or 5 in both ODIs and Tests give him a new position so he doesn't have to face the hard ball so early on and get out cheaply.

  • FAHIM on January 25, 2013, 12:37 GMT

    agree with the comment that there is still a long way to get into the national team. But it is indeed great to see Nafees showing his character. Good for BD cricket.

  • Saidul on January 25, 2013, 7:46 GMT

    Nafees and others bd cricketer carry on ...... Hope and believe , Bangladesh win next t20 world cup ....

  • Aaquib on January 25, 2013, 3:23 GMT

    Well He is still not good for national team..because i m pretty sure he will go back to his old in the next match...Anamul should keep opening with Tamim,..

  • RAHUL on January 25, 2013, 2:12 GMT

    It was not Shakib, not Tamim, not Ashraful, and not even Nasir!!! It was Shariar who got the first Bangladeshi ton?!?! This is really shocking to me!

  • Khub on January 25, 2013, 0:45 GMT

    Both openrs batted really well.....hope dat now he'l bat like t20 in t20

  • Andrew on January 24, 2013, 23:03 GMT

    @ExtremeSpeed on (January 24 2013, 21:51 PM GMT) - actually he would of been my equal 2nd choice, behind only Tamim & level with Shakib. Before he joined the ICL he was fast becoming Bangladesh's best ever batsmen, since then he has hardly reached half those heights.

  • Andrew on January 24, 2013, 23:01 GMT

    Nafees needs to realise, that he can do a lot better than a T20 hundred. He has the ability to score 100s in Test cricket. Hopefully he will do that in the near future.

  • Zeeshan on January 24, 2013, 22:11 GMT

    Congrats...and respect! And the journey has just begun. He showed maturity, class, intelligent shot selection and was seeing balls like moon and picking boundaries at will. He was totally in the zone. But expectation only got higher now; we want a ODI/Test double! :D

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