Mahmudullah Riyad, ace of the Bangladeshi lower-middle order, achieves his old record with a heroic century against South Africa last night in Mumbai. In 2015, he became the first Bangladeshi to score three figures (103) in the ICC Mens’ Cricket World Cup against England. His contribution led Bangladesh to their first-ever Quarter-Finals in the history of this mega event. Subsequently, he made another ton against New Zealand in the very next fixture. That unbeaten 128 runs inning remains his best figure in the ODI.
Mahmudullah got his third ton against the same New Zealand in the 2017 champions trophy. His 102* innings alongside Shakib’s 114 helped Bangladesh to secure the hope for semi-finals. However, in the 2019 World Cup, Mahmudullah couldn’t manage to write another ton beside his name. On the other hand, ace Shakib was in his best form during that session and got two centuries against England (121) and West Indies (124*) which elevated him to the first position alongside Mahmudullah in terms of both World Cup and ICC events combined.
However, Mahmudullah’s inclusion in the current World Cup Squad was unsure despite his tremendous effort in the previous ICC events. But there is a proverb, ‘Fortune favours the bold’. That’s why when he finally got the change in the New Zealand series, he returned like an unsung hero. Surprisingly, he was dropped in the second match of Bangladesh against England but Bangladesh ultimately failed there harshly. Team Tiger continued their losing streak against New Zealand, India and South Africa but the silent killer showed constant fighting spirit through his 41*, 46 and 111 respectively which clinches him to the top run-getter among Bangladeshis in this World Cup. Besides, his 111 runs in 111 balls innings helped him to become the owner of the highest tons among Bangladeshis in the ICC World Cup (3) and all ICC mega events combined (4). Another interesting fact is to date only six times Bangladeshi batters touched triple figures and among them, Mahmudullah holds half of the record.
37-year-old Mahmudullah may not play another World Cup as he has already retired from T20 and test cricket, but he will always be the hero for many cricket lovers who paved the way towards World Cup centuries and still holds the highest number of tons in the ICC events though he never scored another ton aside from the mega-events.