Bangladesh - arguably the team to beat in the T20 World Cup group stage - huffed and puffed in a tricky Group B of the T20 World Cup 2021 first round.
However, in its desperate attempt to live up to the billing and reach the Super 12s, it was once again the 'Shakib' factor that proved to be decisive for Bangladesh.
A gritty 46 off 37 balls and a cracking spell of 4/9 - his best at the T20WC - helped Bangladesh overcome a Papua New Guinea challenge to qualify for the next round. Shakib’s sensational run over the past week witnessed shades of the very best from the all-rounder as he finished with 108 runs and nine wickets in three games.
A frenzy of records too came calling.
- With two wickets in Bangladesh’s first match against Scotland, Shakib surpassed Lasith Malinga to become the leading wicket-taker in men’s T20Is.
- Shakib also became the first cricketer in history to amass the double of 12,000 runs and 600 wickets in international cricket.
- Shakib also equalled Shahid Afridi for the most wickets in T20 World Cup history with 39 wickets in his seventh appearance at the showpiece event.
What makes Shakib a legend of the modern game?
A series of controversies have marred the mercurial 34-year-old, but Shakib’s on-field prowess hardly took a hit.
With exemplary acumen and longevity, Shakib has stamped his name in the league of the Bothams and Kallis’ of world cricket - perhaps even greater.
A further look at his whopping numbers tells the tale:
- Shakib remains the only player to record the double of 1000-plus runs and 100-plus wickets in all formats of the game.
- Shakib is also the only cricketer to top the ICC all-rounders rankings in all three formats concurrently - achieving the feat in January 2015.
- Shakib is the only cricketer to cross 600 runs and 30 wickets in T20 World Cup history. He is also the only player to register 1000-plus runs and 30-plus wickets in ODI World Cup history.
- At the 2019 World Cup, Shakib became the fastest all-rounder (one of only four men) to cross 6000 runs and 250 wickets in ODI cricket.
- He is one of two men to achieve the double of 5000-plus runs and 300-plus wickets in T20 cricket.
- In July 2021, Shakib became Bangladesh’s leading wicket-taker in ODIs and currently leads the charts in all three formats.
- With over 12,000 runs to his name, Shakib is Bangladesh’s third-most successful batter behind Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim.
As Bangladesh forays into the last 12 of the T20 World Cup in UAE, the man with the Midas touch will once again be the team's go-to guy to go forth in the tournament.
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