Iqbal hit a record-breaking 158 – the highest individual score by a Bangladesh batsman in ODI cricket – at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium. The ton carried Bangladesh to victory and an unassailable series lead. The hosts are priced at 1.16 to win the third ODI at the same venue.
“I was under a little bit of pressure, but I felt good with my batting in the second ODI. I wasn't getting the big runs but I felt I was batting really well in the Pakistan and Zimbabwe Tests, and even in the nets. I knew that it was a matter of time, but it was taking time to get the big knock. The team management and my team-mates kept on believing in me. They also didn't let me get frustrated,” said Iqbal.
“It is hard to find a lot of people around you in these times, but my team-mates and team management were most important for me. The board president even said some really nice things to me couple of days ago.
“To be honest, I didn't do anything differently. I got a few early boundaries, because they went into gaps. Sometimes it doesn't fall into the gaps.
“Because my balls versus runs was close, it looked like I changed everything. It is not correct, I played in my usual mindset. A positive intent ensures that things fall into place.”
Iqbal's other centuries
His 158 spanned 136 deliveries and was lined with 20 fours and a trio of sixes. It surpassed the 154 he struck against the Zimbabweans in Bulawayo in 2009. He has collected 10 other centuries in the intermediate format of the international game, including one against England at The Oval in London in 2017.
“Obviously I would keep the 2009 innings ahead, because it was the first time that we had successfully chased a 300-plus total,” concluded Iqbal.
“It was quite rare in those days. It was like chasing 400-plus these days, so back then we didn't quite believe that we could chase down such a big total.”