"The way the wickets fell today, my century seems to have suddenly become quite special."
Tamim Iqbal couldn't stifle a grin when saying this, but to be fair, he was allowed at least a smile after his standout 104. He thrived on good form, clarity of thinking and batting skills that made his innings special even before the other batsmen (barring Mominul Haque) put together a miserable scorecard.
This was Tamim's eighth fifty-plus score in eleven innings against England, taking his average against them to 63.27. Among batsmen to have played at least ten innings against England in the last six years, Tamim's batting average is second only to Hashim Amla's 86.54.
Despite an indifferent start, in which he took 20 deliveries to get off the mark, Tamim racked up seven boundaries between the ninth and the 13th over and took just 60 balls for his half-century. Mominul wasn't exactly his calm self all the time at the other end, so Tamim had to ensure the scoring didn't taper off while keeping his shape whenever playing a forceful shot. The 170-run second wicket stand came at a fair clip - 4.37 per over for 38.5 overs.
"I batted with intent, and it is the way I usually like to bat, which means that I would rate it quite highly," Tamim said of his innings. "I took 19 balls to get off the mark so I thought I handled that period well to go on and score a century. It is always special to get a century so I am happy in that regard."
But was it really fair for Tamim to attend an end-of-day press conference in which most of the questions were about his team's batting collapse?
Tamim had indeed been the first of those nine wickets to fall but, at 171 for 2 an hour after lunch, the expectation had been that Bangladesh's middle order would build up their team-mate's strong groundwork. Batting collapses aren't exactly new to the line-up, but 9 for 49 in 22.5 overs stands out as an extreme example of giving away a good start to a Test match.
It was evident that there was much pillow-passing going around, with none of those involved in the collapse ready to take the responsibility of rebuilding the innings after such a superb second-wicket partnership. Shirking away from such duties can happen when you put nine batsmen in a line-up. There will be debate about whether Shuvagata Hom and Mehedi Hasan belong in that category, but both have made themselves into viable batting options at domestic and age-group levels respectively.
Mahmudullah's initial response to Tamim's dismissal had been to hit a six off Adil Rashid had had hit a six in the over and, even when Mominul fell for 70 two overs later, the pitch still didn't look uncomfortable for the batsmen. But while Mushfiqur Rahim was unlucky to fall to a superb catch at leg slip, Mahmudullah, Sabbir Rahman, Shuvagata, Mehedi and Shakib Al Hasan all got out playing poor shots.
Prods outside off stump are commonplace when a pace attack is relentlessly plugging away but what Mahmudullah offered was catching practice. Sabbir and Shuvagata showed crass judgment with deliveries pitched well outside the line, while Mehedi chose both the wrong line and length to sweep when Moeen trapped him lbw with a full and straight one. Shakib saw all this and then tried to reach a wide delivery, which took the fateful edge.
Moeen was bowling with accuracy while Ben Stokes generated some reverse swing, though not as prodigiously as in the first innings at Chittagong. Bangladesh know that such skills should have been handled better.
Tamim, thankfully, didn't offer an explanation for the collapse but admitted that even just another 100 runs would have made a huge difference.
"I didn't come here to defend the collapse in any way. Batting in the first ten overs was difficult, then it eased out for the next 20-25 overs which could be due to our attacking intent, and we also got a number of boundary balls. When you are scoring runs, any wicket would seem easy to bat on.
"I can't give an explanation to this collapse. We played some wrong shots while some were good deliveries. But if we had scored 100 more runs from what we got, the game would have been in our favour. The ball started to spin after 45 overs, but this can happen," he said.
Tamim admitted that he should have offered a shot to the Moeen delivery that led to his dismissal in the 42nd over, but that the team should have responded better when wickets were falling quickly.
"It was the third ball I had left like that. I wasn't doing it on purpose. On the Chittagong wicket, the ball was turning from that spot so maybe I was thinking about it. I made the mistake. I should have offered a shot. If you look at Mominul's dismissal, so one came in and one turned. But we should have handled those deliveries better.
"There weren't any panic attacks but people do tend to get puzzled when a couple of wickets fall. They bowled really well but we could have handled it better," said Tamim.
But he remained hopeful, particularly having seen how much the Dhaka wicket was offering for Bangladesh's spinners. It resulted in England losing three wickets quickly before rain brought an early end to the day's play.
"I think it will get a little difficult every day of this game. This is why I am repeating that we should have got 100 more runs. A score around 350 would have made it hard for the team batting second, and they will also be batting last in the game.
"If we can take early wickets and bowl them out quickly, things can change quickly. We made mistakes as a batting unit but we can't just sit on it. We have to fight with 220 runs," he said.