Liton Das had an impressive World Cup debut against West Indies on Monday, striking an unbeaten 94 off 69 balls and putting together a match-defining partnership with Shakib Al Hasan. Here are five things you should know about the 24-year-old Bangladesh batsman and his innings.
A nervous start
After the West Indies match, Liton said he had been quite nervous as he walked past the dismissed Mushfiqur Rahim in the 19th over. It was only after he reached the thirties, with an inside-out loft over covers, that he felt completely at ease at the crease. He sped off from that point, adding a further 62 runs off just 38 balls.
Batting out of position
Normally a top-order batsman, the match against West Indies was the first time Liton walked out to bat at No. 5 in an ODI, and he admitted to feeling a lot of pressure while batting out of position. In this match, he replaced Mohammad Mithun, who had had a bad outing against England. With Shakib playing at No. 3 these days, the only slot left for Liton was No. 5.
Watch on Hotstar (INDIA ONLY) - Liton's 94 not out
An issue of consistency
Following his superb 121 against India in the Asia Cup final last year, Liton averaged only 19 in the following nine ODIs against Zimbabwe, West Indies and New Zealand. His string of 1, 1, and 1 in New Zealand handed Soumya Sarkar the opening spot alongside Tamim Iqbal, but, since Liton was always seen as a far more aggressive option to Imrul Kayes, he kept his place in the World Cup squad.
A false start
When he had made 1881 runs in the 2014-15 domestic season, Liton was a considered shoo-in for the No. 3 role in the home internationals against India, Pakistan and South Africa. However, despite many in the senior team brushing off questions about his place in the side, Liton was dropped for nearly two years.
He regained his place in the national side after ending as lead run-getter in the 2017 Dhaka Premier League and was part of the squad that toured South Africa in September that year. For a while, he became a Test regular, scoring 94 against Sri Lanka in Chittagong last year.
Followed Shakib's footsteps
Liton is a Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan (BKSP) graduate like Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Nasir Hossain, among others. It is Bangladesh's top sports institution situated 40km from Dhaka. Liton is originally from Dinajpur, some 335km from Dhaka on the northern tip of the country. He doesn't hail from a cricketing background but his interest prompted his father to send him to BKSP, considered a hub of sporting excellence in Bangladesh.
Liton then followed the traditional route of young cricketers in Bangladesh, going through age-group cricket, including the Under-19s with players like Anamul Haque, Mosaddek Hossain and Taskin Ahmed.