England v Bangladesh, 1st npower Test, Lord's, 4th day May 30, 2010

Tamim does a Slater...and a Lara

Celebration of the day

It was Michael Slater who first dispensed with decorum at Lord's when, in 1993, he punched the air and kissed the crest of his Australia helmet after reaching his maiden Test hundred. Today, Tamim Iqbal carried that exuberance an extra yard or 20. Having cavorted through the nineties in a calculated assault on Tim Bresnan, he secured Bangladesh's first Test century at the home of cricket with a dismissive smack back over the bowler's head, whereupon he hurtled almost to within touching distance of the dressing-room balcony, and pointed to the back of his shirt as if to tell his team-mates to get on with the business of sticking his name up on the honours-board. Clearly, in his excitement, Tamim forgot that his name only appears on his back in ODI and Twenty20 contests, but after racking up a sublime century from 94 deliveries, he might as well have been playing limited-overs.

Shot of the day

There were so many to choose from, most of them audacious and nearly all of them impeccably timed, but nothing confirmed the presence of a rare talent quite like the short-arm pull with which Tamim rifled Steven Finn through midwicket for four. The shot was the third of three fours in a row, and whereas the first two were based entirely on bravado - a bludgeoning drive and a streaky edge - this was an emphatic stamp of class. The ball was short and rose steeply, but Tamim rocked back with his weight perched daintily on one leg, a la Brian Lara, and all that remained was for the fielders to whistle in admiration.

Acceleration of the day

Throughout their alliances at the top of the Bangladesh order, Tamim and Imrul Kayes have been like the hare and the tortoise - only without the twist to the end of the fable. Until this Test, Kayes' highest score in 22 Test innings had been a measly 33, and it was to his great credit that the lure of Lord's brought him out of his shell. After a first-innings 43, Kayes was briefly the pacesetter in the follow-on, as he hustled along to 48 from 71 balls, with Tamim trailing in his wake on 37 not out (albeit from just 44 balls). But then, while Kayes fretted over his landmark, Tamim went into overdrive, adding 40 runs to his total from 27 balls before his partner could notch up his fifty.

Over of the day

As England discovered to their frustration on Friday, their attack was pretty toothless when the sun broke through the clouds. So, when Andrew Strauss turned to his spinner, Graeme Swann, at 102 for 0 in the 22nd over, he did so in the knowledge that he was running short on options. Tamim's response was to batter England's Player of the Year into submission from the word go. The first ball was a mistimed charge that telegraphed his intent; the second ball was belted high and handsomely into the Mound Stand for six. A brutal drive for four came next, and then it was down onto one knee once more, for another scintillating slog-sweep over the ropes. Seventeen runs were swiped from the over, as England's toils continued.

Breakthrough of the day

Jonathan Trott once claimed career-best bowling figures of 7 for 39 - unfortunately the horse (Kent on that occasion) had already bolted by the time he was called into the attack, with his first wicket coming at 534 for 3. He'd have been forgiven for feeling a similar sense of foreboding when Andrew Strauss threw him the ball as a last resort this afternoon, with Bangladesh cruising on 265 for 2. But in a diligent spell of wicket-to-wicket medium-pace, Trott throttled the run-rate and made the incision, as Jahurul Islam inside-edged into his pads, for the bowler to snaffle a sprawling chance in his followthrough.

Cameo of the day

Mohammad Ashraful could not have hoped for friendlier conditions as he walked out for his second innings of the match. The ground was lit up by late-evening sunshine, his top-order colleagues had demonstrated beyond any doubt the absence of malice in the pitch (and the opposition, for that matter), and as for the Lord's faithful, they were bound to be predisposed to a player whom they still recall and revere for his Aussie-toppling innings at Cardiff in 2005. Sure enough, he notched his first boundary from the third delivery he faced, then added three four in the space of eight deliveries, including a sumptuous uppercut to deflect Finn through third man. Alas, it was not to last. Jimmy Anderson, armed with the new ball, tied him down in a tight and threatening over, before inducing a nick through to Matt Prior.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JS82 on May 31, 2010, 17:36 GMT

    Well done Tamim. I wonder if any of the county teams might be interested in offering Tamim a contract. That will help him grow immensely.

  • knur on May 31, 2010, 11:26 GMT

    Congrats Tamim. Bravo man! carry on, we want to see more from you. Tamim is a true fighter, a rare talent, good to see all around strokes from you. Its a beauty of watching different types and styles of batting from different players. Aggressive players are as vital as match wining players. I wouldn't even consider comparing Tamim with Slater. Slater shines on his own domain. A players performance boosts naturally by team strength all around. Although their shouldn't be any excuse in games, skills development facilities for players in different countries varies which in turn help wining games. Right at the moment, I guess wining with England should not be a priority at all for Bangladeshis, rather they should focus on performance. Win will come for sure...

  • MIRAJ_huq on May 31, 2010, 5:11 GMT

    great article andrew miller....im quite into typing 'andrew miller' in the search engine in cricnifo these days for ur whatever upcoming articles. and this guy..tamim...is maybe the most complete and entertaining strokemaker in wolrd cricket after ricky ponting - playing shots all around the ground .

  • _Rafi_ on May 31, 2010, 4:38 GMT

    Tamim's average is only 40! He was debuted too early and that deteriorated his average.

  • Vivek.Bhandari on May 31, 2010, 4:26 GMT

    i really hope that young tamim doesn't imitate Slats in one special habit...that is, getting out in the 90s...Slats really had this irritating habit of making the most audacious crash-boom-bang 90s...

  • Shakir_Hossain on May 31, 2010, 3:56 GMT

    Tamim's a really stylist, handsome batsman for Bangladesh, He can carry Bangladesh cricket in any time. I think Bangladesh can make a good fighting score in 5th day. Thank you Tamim for your hundred and Tamim, we want 2 continue playing well. pls keep it up nd go ahead. I luv my Bangladesh nd also luv Bangladeshi cricket.

  • realredbaron on May 31, 2010, 1:24 GMT

    Tamim's a stylish left handed great in making. Whether you are a supporter of Bangladesh or not, this fella' excites even the dullest of the cricket fans.

  • Bang_La on May 31, 2010, 0:08 GMT

    Great, simply great Andrew!

  • __PK on May 30, 2010, 22:07 GMT

    Interesting comparison with Slater, but you missed the obvious parallel there. Slater was also fond of fast-paced second innings hundreds against toothless English attacks. The main difference was that his usually helped turn draws into victories, whereas Tamim's started from a position of defeat.

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