Mushfiqur’s brilliant century floors pathetic Sri Lankans | Sunday Observer

Mushfiqur’s brilliant century floors pathetic Sri Lankans

Bangladeshi batsman Mushfiqur Rahim plays a shot during the one day international (ODI) Asia Cup cricket match against Sri Lanka at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium  AFP)
Bangladeshi batsman Mushfiqur Rahim plays a shot during the one day international (ODI) Asia Cup cricket match against Sri Lanka at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium AFP)

DUBAI, Saturday – Sri Lanka collapsed in a heap to be shot out for 124 - their lowest total against Bangladesh to lose the opening match of the Asia Cup 2018 by 137 runs at the Dubai Sports City Stadium here on Saturday.

After Bangladesh had scored 261 largely through Mushfiqur Rahim’s sixth ODI century, Sri Lanka’s batting was dismantled by some inspired bowling that saw them wilt and lose the contest without a fight. The manner in which the Lankans batted brought into question whether playing a domestic T20 League in preparation for a 50-over ODI tournament had an overall effect on the batting.

The selection of the side also left much to be desired with Sri Lanka loading it with too many all-rounders at the expense of a specialist batsman.

Bangladesh had to thank some sloppy Sri Lankan fielding that enabled them to get to a competitive total of 261 after choosing to bat first.

That kind of total didn’t seem likely when Lasith Malinga making a memorable return to international cricket after a lapse of one year made an early breakthrough in his opening over by sending back Liton Das and Shakib Al Hasan both without scoring to have Bangladesh two down for one run.

But a series of poor catching by the Sri Lankans who spilled as many as three crucial chances – two off centurion Mushfiqur Rahim at 10 and 85 that saw them attain a score they could defend.

Each time Malinga came onto bowl he brought Sri Lanka back into the game. Coming for his second spell in the 26th over he ended the threatening stand of 131 of 141 balls between Mushfiqur and Mohammad Mithun which was a Bangladesh record against Sri Lanka.

He dismissed Mithun who was dropped before he had scored for 63 off 68 balls (5 fours, 2 sixes) and Mosaddek Hossain (1) to end with figures of four for 23 off 10 overs, but at the other end Mushfiqur stood firm anchoring the innings.

At 229-9 it seemed the Bangladesh innings was as good as over with Tamim unable to bat but to everyone’s surprise he walked in with his injured left wrist heavily strapped.

Mushfiqur fully utilised Tamim’s courage in coming out to bat at the fall of the ninth wicket to add 32 valuable runs to the score off 16 balls before finally being dismissed for a career best score of 144 scored off 150 balls with 11 fours and four sixes.

Tamim was forced to retire with his score on two after being hit a painful blow on his left wrist by Suranga Lakmal in the second over of the innings.

As much as for Tamim’s courage credit goes to Mushfiqur as well for battling through scorching heat through temperatures of 42 degrees to score a fighting century. 

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