Islam hits his way into history

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The Independent Online

Bangladesh's first ever Test match became a glorious procession for all-rounder Aminul Islam yesterday, as he took the honour of registering his country's first Test century with his 145 against India here. He helped Bangladesh make exactly 400 in their first innings, the second highest total by a side on their Test debut. India were 81 for 1 at the end of the second day.

Bangladesh's first ever Test match became a glorious procession for all-rounder Aminul Islam yesterday, as he took the honour of registering his country's first Test century with his 145 against India here. He helped Bangladesh make exactly 400 in their first innings, the second highest total by a side on their Test debut. India were 81 for 1 at the end of the second day.

The only other team to make a higher total at their first attempt were Zimbabwe, who posted 456 - also against India - in Harare in 1992.

The century took Islam, a former Bangladeshi captain, into the record books as only the third player to score a debut century in a country's inaugural Test match.

A fanatical crowd of some 50,000 fans cheered and danced as Islam reached his century off 282 balls. Thousands of firecrackers exploded when he took a single off India's spinner, Murali Kartik, to reach the magical mark.

Islam joined Australia's Charles Bannerman, who scored a maiden century in his country's debut Test against England at Melbourne in 1877. Bannerman retired hurt after scoring 165. More than a century later, Zimbabwe's Dave Houghton scored 121 in that 1992 Test against India at Harare. Islam's nearly nine-hour innings ended when he skied a slow ball off pace bowler Ajit Agarkar into the hands of Javagal Srinath. He had struck 17 boundaries in his 145-run innings.

A flood of congratulatory messages greeted Islam in this cricket-crazy nation of 130 million people. He was also awarded 300,000 takas (£4,000) by the Bangladesh Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, who was watching the match.

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