Asia Cup: Mushfiq masterclass lifts Bangladesh to 261
Mushfiqur Rahim’s magnificent lone hand after a top order collapse lit up the desert evening in Dubai and helped Bangladesh pose a challenging total for Sri Lanka to chase for victory in the opening game of the 14th Asia Cup Saturday.
Opting to bat first in the Group ‘B’ match of the six-nation tournament, by the time Mushfiq was last man out off the 3rd ball of the 50th over, Bangladesh’s total had gone well past respectability into possibly winning territory, a healthy 261 on a ground where the average first innings total is almost forty runs less.
It was the 150th ball Bangladesh’s talismanic wicketkeeper-batsman faced, having scored 144 runs, well over half the team total, that he laced with 11 boundaries and 4 sixes.
Mushfiq completed his 6th ODI century and found 14 balls company in the end by a brave Tamim Iqbal [2* off 4b], who was retired out on 3/2 in the 2nd over and showed incredible courage facing the pace of Suranga Lakmal with only one hand having returned to partner Mushy and try and play out the allotted overs when Bangladesh was on 229/9 in 46.5 overs after Mustafizur Rahman’s [10 off 11b; 1x4] running out.
Sharing a 32-run with Tamim in the 10th wicket, Mushfiq was caught by Kusal Mendis on team’s final collection, facing the last ball of the match off pace bowler Thisara Perera, but by then he had made his mate’s decision worth the pain.
Besides his individual score, Mushfiq partnered with youngster Mohammad Mithun for a 131 run partnership off 23.3 overs in the 3rd wicket that recovered and revived the innings from a crumbling situation from 3 for 2 in 2 overs – but effectively 3/3 with Tamim retiring hurt.
Wicketkeeper Mithun [63 off 68b; 5x4; 2x6] was another big hitter with his maiden international half century before Sri Lankan experienced pacer Lasith Malinga removed him from 3rd pair on 134/3 in 25.3 overs.
After Mithun, the Tigers witnessed another collapse as Mahmudullah Riyad and Mosaddek Hossain were came in and out, adding one runs each as Amila Aponso and Malinga got them on 136/4 and 142/5 in 26.2 and 28th over respectively.
Bangladesh lost last three quick wickets --Mithun, Mahmudullah and Mosaddek -- within a span of eight runs off 4.3 overs.
And then, Mehidy Hasan Miraz [15off 21b] and skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza [11 off 18b; 2x4] played for their added double digit scores, showing a bit patient.
Earlier, the Tigers batsmen were crumbled in the innings as lost Liton Kumar Das and Shakib Al Hasan within the very first over bowled by the wily Lasith Malinga, before Tamim Iqbal was retired hurt in the next over on Bangladesh’s collection of just three runs.
Malinga got two successive wickets, sending off opening batsman Liton and all-rounder Shakib with ducks in his 5th and 6th balls of the innings 1st over.
Opener Tamim Iqbal [2 off 3b] was walking back to pavilion due to the left wrist injury, facing the last ball of the 2nd over off Suranga Lakmal, and he and was sent a local hospital for medication.
Malinga got four wickets for an economic 23-run in ten overs while Dhananjaya de Silva [2/38], Suranga Lakmal [1/46], Thisara Perera [1/51] and Amila Aponso [1/55] shared five wickets for the side.