Bangladesh v West Indies, 2nd Test, Khulna, 1st day November 21, 2012

Moment yet to sink in for Abul Hasan

Picked as a fast bowler, Abul Hasan displayed his batting skills and in the process dusted off a record that stood for a 110 years. His innings turned the initiative Bangladesh's way

It was a surreal day for Bangladesh cricket. The recovery from near capitulation, the record ninth-wicket partnership for the country, and the fifty by the No. 8 batsman, were all significant because of Bangladesh's position at 193 for 8. The moment Abul Hasan, a genuine tailender, turned Sunil Narine behind square on the on side for a single, then realised it was placed well enough to pick up a couple, the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium lit up.

As he completed the second run, he had already dropped his bat and then, curiously, celebrated facing the press box before turning to his team-mates in the dressing-room, who were at the edge of their seats after he passed the 80s. He jumped on Mahmudullah's lap and smiled. With a hint of pride and mischief, Abul was smiling like a mischievous kid who had just done something everyone else would be awed by, not only him. He became the first No.10 batsman to score a century on Test debut, after 110 years.

It certainly looked as if everyone had enjoyed his innings. Chris Gayle wanted to know where his bat came from. "It's an English willow, Tamim bhai [Iqbal] got it for me," a bewildered Abul told the media at the press conference, also his first one of this scale. The feat had yet to sink in for the 20-year-old, barely an hour after the day's play.

"I just wanted to bat like a batsman, that's all. [Mahmudullah] Riyad bhai just told me to bat like a batsman," he said. "When I played Under-15 cricket, I was a batsman, then I became a pace bowler."

And his mantra with the bat was simple: "I just wanted to survive the good ball, and take advantage of the bad ball."

However, his team-mates were concerned when the new ball was taken at the start of the 82nd over. "We were enjoying his batting till they took the new ball. That's when we started getting nervous. I think he was around 84," said Tamim.

"This was some innings. I haven't seen any No. 10 do this, not in my career so far. I thought some of his shots were those of a pure batsman. I would have been proud if I had played them," he said.

West Indies coach Ottis Gibson was equally stunned, and praised Abul's effort. "I haven't seen one this dramatic. You actually don't want it to be on the receiving end, you'd like it for your team-mate to do it.

"It's a horrible feeling but he played excellent cricket. He played some fantastic shots, rode his luck at times and he was good in defense when he had to. This is why I love Test cricket."

Abul said his next task would be to help Mahmudullah get to his hundred, and was also aware what his role in the team is, as a new-ball bowler primarily picked for his pace. However, it was a day to talk about batting and the partnership. "I want to support Riyad bhai as much as possible and take this innings further tomorrow morning. Definitely, I want to see him score a hundred."

Coming in as a replacement for Shahadat Hossain as a fast bowler, it would be hard to tell at this stage how it would shape him as a cricketer. But such a start should give him a tremendous boost, especially after he dropped Imran Nazir in a World Twenty20 match in September. The ridicule had hurt him at the time, he said. "After the World Cup, I felt bad thinking maybe my (dropped) catch cost the team a win. But everyone told me, anything can happen," he said.

His unbeaten 172-run ninth wicket stand is a Bangladesh record, and in the process became the third Bangladesh batsman to score a hundred on debut, after Aminul Islam and Mohammad Ashraful.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Bangladesh

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mark on November 22, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    Brilliant! Hope that this is not just a one-off. Everyone in world cricket wishes Bangladesh well, but we have seen so many false dawns...

  • Dummy4 on November 22, 2012, 6:56 GMT

    bangladesh getting batting depth day by day

  • Sakthi on November 22, 2012, 4:48 GMT

    Well done Bangladesh boys - Indian fan

  • Fazeer on November 22, 2012, 2:53 GMT

    As a Sri Lankan, I am very impressed the way Abul Hassan batted. Its pure cricketing strokes he played. He is cuts, drives on the off where well stroked with the feet reaching pitch of the ball. Thats hallmark of a good batsman and also he is left handed batsman give more color to his batting. I hope that he improves from here onwards to be good batsman for Bangladesh. Well done Abul Hassan, Inshallah hope to see more of you in the future.

  • Inam on November 22, 2012, 0:06 GMT

    i have have just finished watching the highlights of his innings, i must say he is clean hitter, very good in defense, far better than a number 10 batsman, he did not show nerves at all. His fluency in batting is better than any BD batsman in the team, over all very poor shot selection from all BD batsmen, they got out to really poor balls, all BD batsman need to lear how to hit the ball and when to hit. regardless of format they all get out on bad balls, not Abul though. If BD want to be successful they need batting like this.

  • Andrew on November 21, 2012, 23:40 GMT

    Really kind & accurate summary from Otis Gibson. It's the sort of innings from a precarious position - everyone wants to see, but NOT be on the receiving end of! I hope Mahmudullah gets his ton!

  • Shafin on November 21, 2012, 21:27 GMT

    The best batting display under any condition ever for me! Thats why I love Test Cricket! I am still shaking!

  • Sapner on November 21, 2012, 21:22 GMT

    Abul hasan !!! what a century, keep going man..your knock is a absolute gem. Tamim should be given total freedom. He has got a god gifted talent, let him play in his own way is good for the team. We need a solid opener who can team up with tamim, still don't understand why nazimuddin instead of given Anamul a chance. To me Mahmudullah is the most versatile player fits any where after the new ball shine goes. He could be promote to 5th position permanently and rahim can bat his place. Sakib is getting lazy..putting on weight, may be for his injury...needs to work hard and deliver more as he is the most valueable player in the team and it is ovious that we need maximum from him, sorry sakib, but the demand is automatic. At last, to the whole team...please, don't throw your wicket cheaply, as a fan we waited for a long..never lost faith on you, now need some positive results. Good luck team BD.

  • Dummy4 on November 21, 2012, 21:07 GMT

    Abul's innings is really valuable in Ban's perspective. This man has really some potential to bat as he was once a batsman at U-15 level. In the same time, he should concentrate on his fast bowling too. It is a wonderful thing to be Lara(?) and Ambrose at the same time.

  • Boben on November 21, 2012, 20:04 GMT

    It was a great performance from Abul Hasan.When he faced the very first over from Fidel, i thought he is very much like tail ender.But afterthat I can't belive my eyes.His shot selection was excellent.He played really awesome shots.Some of his shots really resembled that of great LARA.Today I would like to see him going and going and get a double .I belive he can do it.Also the support from Riyad is really great.I hope this pair can add more.All the best Hasan,Riyad and Tigers

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