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Another day, same Shakib

Staff Correspondent
19 Mar 2023 00:00:00 | Update: 19 Mar 2023 00:12:10
Another day, same Shakib
Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan plays a shot during their first ODI against Ireland in Sylhet on Saturday – AFP Photo

Well, Shakib Al Hasan has made making records kind of a habit at this point.

In the last One-Day International of the three-match England series, he had become the first-ever Bangladeshi to reach 300 wickets in the format.

On Saturday, he reached 7,000 runs, becoming the first Bangladeshi to achieve the double, and the third-ever to do so overall, behind Sanath Jayasuriya and Shahid Afridi.

Shakib, though, is the quickest to achieve the landmark as he did it in only 228 innings, while Jayasuriya and Afridi took 169 and 113 matches more respectively.

He started the match 24 runs shy of that mark and soon went beyond that. Went on to pick up his fifty off 65 balls, and his fifty was proof of his sharp mind as he struggled to time the ball, and thus turned to singles rather than boundaries. His fifty came with only two fours.

However, afterwards, he started to blast the Ireland bowlers all around, especially Harry Tector. Shakib took on the off-spinner in the 35th over, hitting five fours around the park. The first was a sweep to deep square leg, the next over extra cover, and then the third came in the direction of the first.

The fourth ball only went for two but in the next two balls, Shakib cut it through point first, and in the final ball, came down the wicket and swatted it straight down for another quartet.

He missed out on yet another century by getting out for 93 edging one off Graham Hume but when he got out, his strike rate was 104.49 as he had played 89 balls, meaning he scored 43 runs in 24 balls after his fifty. This was the fourth time Shakib was out in the nineties in ODIs, restraining his century tally from going into double-digits at nine.

This was his third consecutive fifty in the format following his two fifties in the last two ODIs against England.

He then went on to pick up the first wicket of the Ireland innings as Stephen Doheny edged one to Mushfiqur Rahim, handing Shakib his 301st wicket.

It has been quite some time since Shakib cemented his place as the greatest cricketer Bangladesh has produced. And with the World Cup fast approaching, it seems like Shakib has found his magic touch again.