His unbeaten 141 in the BPL final against Dhaka Dynamites became an out-of-body experience for Tamim Iqbal. He said that he needed a little more time to fully grasp the enormity of his knock, one that contained a Bangladesh record 11 sixes and ten fours, and which turned out to be 70.85% of Comilla Victorians' total in the final.
It was such a one-man show that Tamim not only gave the Victorians a good start, he also built partnerships, held it together in the middle overs and then had to slog all the way through to the last over. The rest of their batsmen contributed only 47 runs off 59 balls.
Parts of Tamim's innings were truly unique to his style of batting. He has 20 international hundreds, and has figured out how to go about run-scoring in Tests and ODIs, in different circumstances. But this involved pacing an innings and never dropping off in his strike rate, which ended up being 231.14 after facing 61 balls.
Tamim said that the plan to treat one bowler - Sunil Narine - with respect paid dividends. He batted at a 246-plus strike rate against Rubel Hossain and Andre Russell, and then despite having a more defensive mindset against Shakib Al Hasan, went after him for 30 runs off 10 balls.
"To be honest, I feel I am still dreaming," Tamim said. "I still don't know how I batted. I think I can explain better after I see the highlights. At one stage I got very pissed when [Anamul Haque] Bijoy got out. I had to calm myself down and start again. I am sure that when I see the highlights, I can say it better.
"I honestly never thought I'd play such a knock but I think I planned it really nicely. I didn't want to give a wicket to Shakib [Al Hasan] and [Sunil] Narine, who were Dhaka's most successful bowlers. I hardly took any risk against Narine apart from one six. It was an unbelievably good wicket so I backed myself against the pacers."
To remain in a positive state of mind for the duration of the tournament, Tamim said that he adopted Mashrafe Mortaza's mantra of continuously telling himself that he will win. "I get tensed before a game, especially when the responsibility is with me," he said. "So I decided to be positive all the way. You know owners can be emotional but not for a minute did I tell them that we will lose. The credit goes to Mr Mortaza."
Tamim said that his innings would also be a lesson for the rest of the Bangladeshi cricketers that on a big occasion, someone among the locals can do the job. "A Bangladeshi did the job in a big occasion in the BPL. I think this is the best achievement from today's innings. Normally an overseas player does the job on the big day in previous occasions.
"I hope my innings inspires the others from Bangladesh. They don't need to wait for others to do it. We can also do it."
Tamim's wait for the BPL trophy is now over, having gone through several disappointments and some controversies in the past editions. "It was very personal," he said. "I always wanted to win a cup. The monkey is off my back."