Watch Video: Iftikhar Ahmed smashes three sixes in a row against Haris Rauf during record-breaking, 45-ball T20 ton
Iftikhar Ahmed turned on beast mode in Fortune Barishal’s clash against Rangpur Riders as he brought up his maiden T20 century. En route his T20 ton, Iftikhar took on his Pakistan teammate Haris Rauf and smashed him for three consecutive sixes in the penultimate over on January 19.
Batting at No.6 and walking out after his team had been reduced to 46-4 within the powerplay, Iftikhar combined with skipper Shakib Al Hasan to steady the innings. The Pakistan batter started off cautiously and was batting at 22 off 20 at one point before he got going with four maximums in the 14th over, bowled by Shamim Hossain.
Iftikhar was also given a life in the very same over when he was batting on 47 off 25 after being dropped at short third, and did not look back, reaching his fifty in 30 deliveries before shifting into attacking mode.
His next 50 runs came in only 15 deliveries, a period of play that saw him hit four boundaries and as many sixes, three of which came against his Pakistan national teammate Rauf.
Rauf was unable to nail the yorker in the third ball of the 19th over, which Iftikhar made full use of as he smashed it over long-on. He got a top-edge on the next delivery and it sailed over deep backward square and then completed a hat-trick of maximums by pulling a shorter ball in the exact area again.
Rauf conceded 24 runs in the penultimate over which spoiled his bowling figures. In the first three overs he bowled, Rauf gave just 18 runs and picked up the wicket of opener Anamul Haque and Ibrahim Zadran.
In the post-match presentation, Iftikhar expressed his emotions as he said, “It was my dream to get a hundred in T20s. The situation was ideal and I went for it.” The ‘Player of the match’ also talked about the rivalry with teammate Rauf. “There is no animosity. It was a true batting pitch and I took the attack to him,” the middle-order batter said.
🔥 Iftikhar’s first T20 hundred
🔥 A record 192-run stand between Iftikhar and Shakib
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) January 19, 2023