Mushfiqur century leads Bangladesh to big victory over Sri Lanka
DHAKA – Mushfiqur Rahim scored his career best ODI ton as Bangladesh inflicted a massive 137 runs defeat on Sri Lanka in their opening group B match of Asia Cup held on Saturday at Dubai International Stadium in Dubai.
Mushfiq composed an impressive 144-run of 150 balls to steer Bangladesh 261 for all in 49.3 overs after opted to bat first on flat wicket and chasing the target Sri Lanka eventually dismissed at a paltry total of 124 in 35.2 overs.
Bangladesh suffered an early batting jolt when they lost opener Tamim Iqbal, who suffered injury to on his wrist after beaten by a pull by Sri Lankan pacer Suranga Lakmal delivery, effectively ruling out of the tournament. He left the field soon after and medical scans later showed that he suffered a fracture.
Liton Das and all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan were also followed the footprint of Tamim without disturbing the score board by Sri Lankan pace sensation Lasith Malinga in the fifth and sixth balls of the first over leaving Bangladesh struggling at 3 for 2.
Wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim and Mohammad Mithun then came to crease to stop the rot and the duo revived Bangladesh’s dilapidated innings.
The two batsmen took advantage of the conditions, playing attacking shots and to keep the scoreboard busy as they shared an important 133-run partnership. Rahim and Mithun steered Bangladesh out of trouble and punished
the Sri Lankan bowlers taking advantage of loose ball.
Malinga finally provided the breakthrough for Sri Lanka and soon after, Bangladesh lost a cluster of wickets in the mid-overs to collapse from a well-set position.
However, Rahim stayed put and kept on pushing the scoreboard, as he completed his sixth ODI century in style, courtesy a boundary from Lakmal.
Pacer Mustafizur Rahman was initially the last man for Bangladesh to be out when he was run-out for 10 runs to leave Rahim stranded at the other hand.
However, much to everyone’s surprise, Tamim walked out to the crease with his wrist bandaged and played the role of a non-striker, allowing Rahim to continue his onslaught.
The 31-year-old wicketkeeper was finally dismissed courtesy a remarkable catch by Kusal Mendis to end Bangladesh’s innings at 261 in 49.3 overs.
Malinga was the pick of the bowlers for Sri Lanka, picking up 4 for 23, followed by off-spinner Dhananjaya de Silva’s 2 for 38.
Besides, Lakmal (1 for 46), Amila Aponso (1 for 55) and Thisara Perera (1 for 51) took a wicket apiece. Chasing a wining target of 262 runs set by Bangladesh, Sri Lanka got off to a flying start when experienced opener Upul Tharanga took on Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza, yielding 13 runs in the first over.
However, bowling sensation Mustafizur bring the early success for Tigers when he trapped Mendis in front. Soon after, Mortaza came back and sent back Tharanga.
The Tigers bowlers continued to pick up Sri Lankan wickets as the middle and lower-order batsmen failed to fight back, allowing Bangladesh to gain an upper hand in the match.
Even Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews played a mediocre inning and struggled to tackle the Bangladeshi bowlers, as his teammates were getting dismissed on the other end. All-rounder Thisara Perera also failed to make
any impression with the bat, as he scored a gritty 44-ball 29, with included two sixes.
In the end, it was a mere formality for the Tigers bowlers as all-rounder Shakib Al-Hasan bagged the last wicket to trigger his team’s wild celebrations.
Rahim was named the Man of the Match for his impressive innings and this was Bangladesh’s biggest win in the Asia Cup tournament so far.
Mashrafe Mortaza (2 for 25) and Mustafizur (2 for 20) took two wickets each. Spinner Mehidy Hasan also captured 2 for 21. Shakib (1 for 31), Rubel Hossain (1 for 18) and Mosaddek Hossain (1 for 8) took a wicket each.
Bangladesh will play their second group match against Afghanistan on Friday (September 20).