Islamabad: Tamim Iqbal, Bangladesh ODI skipper, remembered the times when facing Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar was like a nightmare.
Iqbal, the veteran Bangladesh batsman, took a walk down the memory lane on a Facebook Live along with former Bangladesh cricketers, Khaled Mahmud, Naimur Rahman and Habibul Bashar.
Iqbal was scared to such an extent that one point in time he felt that the ‘Rawalpindi Express’ would kill him. “I say this always, I have played a number of fast bowlers, played 150 kmph deliveries as well. But for once I was scared when I faced Akhtar. That day I felt he would end up killing me. His bowling was so scary,” Tamim was quoted as saying during the interaction by crictracker.com.
The opener got the chance to face Shoaib for the first time during a 2007 quadrangular series in Kenya. Back then, he was a teenager and the fast bowler pinned him. Iqbal managed one off four balls before spooning a catch off Akhtar to Shahid Afridi in the covers. The other time when Shoaib and Tamim came face-to-face was in the 2010 Asia Cup. In that match, Tamim scored 34 off 27 balls, but didn’t give Shoaib his wicket after facing his eight balls.
Akhtar’s topic came up when the four of Tamim, Naimur, Bashar and Mahmud talked about Bangladesh’s Test against Pakistan at Multan back in 2003. Though Shoaib didn’t play the match, he picked up 13 wickets in the first two games, 10 of which came in the Peshawar Test. It was the same year when Shoaib recorded the fastest ball ever sent down in cricket at a speed of 161.3 kmph.
Mahmud, who was a part of the three-match series, spoke candidly about his difficulties in picking Akhtar’s thunderbolts. “I have found it hard to make people believe that I couldn’t spot Shoaib’s first delivery,” Mahmud mentioned.
Akhtar had bagged 178, 247 and 19 wickets in 46 Tests, 163 ODIs and 15 Twenty20s, respectively.