Wed, 12 Dec 2018
7
Kathmandu

Mushfiqur stars in 137-run rout of Sri Lanka

ESPN
16 Sep 2018, 04:52 GMT+10

Bangladesh 261 (Mushfiqur 144, Mithun 63, Malinga 4-23) v Sri Lanka

This was a first innings made special by the old timers, from either team. Lasith Malinga shook off a year's worth of rust in ODI cricket, struck a double blow in his first over, and went on to claim 4 for 23 from his full quota. Mushfiqur Rahim dug Bangladesh out of a hole, combining first with Mohammad Mithun for 131 runs, before going on to make a ravishing 144 off 150 balls, the Bangladesh innings propelled almost solely by him through the late stages.

But the most touching moment of all, perhaps, was when Tamim Iqbal - who sustained a fracture in his bottom hand in the second over and was ruled out of the tournament - came back to bat at No. 11, rode out a short delivery from Suranga Lakmal, and enabled Mushfiqur to add a further 32 runs to the total. Thanks to his bravery, and Mushfiqur's panache, Bangladesh surged to a respectable 261 before Mushfiqur finally holed out to long on in the final over. Thanks to a Bangladesh lower-order collapse, Sri Lanka had at one stage had their opponents on 203 for 8. That they even breached 230 is a surprise, but Mushfiqur hauled them much further than that.

It was a first innings made special by the old-timers. Lasith Malinga shook off a year's worth of rust in ODI cricket, struck a double blow in his first over, and went on to claim 4 for 23 from his full quota. Mushfiqur Rahim dug Bangladesh out of a hole, combinining first with Mohammad Mithun for 131 runs, before going on to make a ravishing 144 off 150 balls, the innings propelled almost solely by him through the late stages.

The most touching moment of all, perhaps, was when Tamim Iqbal - who sustained a fracture in his bottom hand in the second over and was ruled out of the tournament - came back in to bat at No. 11, rode out a short delivery from Suranga Lakmal, and enabled Mushfiqur to add a further 32 runs to the score. Thanks to his bravery, and Mushfiqur's panache, Bangladesh surged to a respectable 261 before Mushfiqur finally holed out to long on in the final over. Thanks to a Bangladesh lower-order collapse, Sri Lanka had at one stage had their opponents at 203 for 8. That they even breached 230 is a surprise, but Mushfiqur hauled them much further than that.

Malinga, who had been overlooked across limited-overs formats since September last year, claimed vindication in the very first over of his comeback match. Having teased Liton Das' outside edge earlier in the over, he got a delivery to clip the edge fifth ball of the over - the chance then snaffled at first slip. Next ball, a vintage Malinga special: Shakib Al Hasan barely registered the full delivery that swung late, past his on-drive. It whizzed between bat and pad to strike almost the base of off stump. One over, two wickets, one run conceded: Malinga was suggesting he was far from done yet.

He was menacing all throughout that first four-over spell, while Suranga Lakmal kept things tight at the other end. He created two catching chances off Mohammad Mithun in the fifth over, neither of which resulted in a wicket. The first, which was a leading edge to mid on, was fumbled by a diving Angelo Mathews. The second catch was also dropped, this time by the fine leg fielder, though perhaps to the fielder's relief, that delivery was called a no-ball for being over waist high. To add to the drama, Malinga then had Mushfiqur caught at mid-on, though it is unlikely the batsman would have attempted the shot he played, were that delivery not a free-hit. Mithun looked comfortable against every other bowler in Sri Lanka's attack, and eventually Malinga would have to return to snuff out Mithun's innings, having him caught off a leading edge that went high in the air to be safely pouched by the wicketkeeper. Mithun had scored 63 off 68 balls by then.

Once Malinga had broken the Mushfiqur-Mithun stand, Bangladesh's middle and lower order succumbed meekly. He took a fourth wicket, this time with a chest-high short ball down the legside that Mosaddek Hossain managed only to miscue to the wicketkeeper. He was given a fifth, when Rubel Hossain was given lbw, but he had that dismissal yanked away by the DRS, which showed the batsman had got a thick inside edge on to the pad. Had it not been for senior partner Mushfiqur's insistence, a clueless Rubel may not even have reviewed it.

Like Mithun, Mushfiqur also had some luck early in his innings, when a straightforward chance was dropped at square leg by Dilruwan Perera in the 10th over. Aside from that one indiscretion, however, this was an outstanding innings. He had begun slowly, playing out a maiden against the red-hot Malinga, before later producing Bangladesh's first boundary of the match, off the last ball of the eighth over. He built steadily alongside Mithun, on what was generally a good Dubai track to bat on, taking a special liking to Sri Lanka's finger-spinners.

After Mithun fell, and Mahmudullah and Mosaddek Hossain also perished in quick succession, leaving him in the company of the tail, Mushfiqur began to farm the strike, looking for boundaries at the start of each over, and singles towards the end. The lower order batsmen continued to perish though, and Bangladesh found themselves nine down in the 47th over, which should have been the end of their innings, had Tamim not made the incredibly brave decision to bat again, hiding his inured left hand behind his body, and using only his right hand to deflect a rib-high short ball from Suranga Lakmal. Mushfiqur made spectacular use of his partner's courage, hitting three further fours and three further sixes, as he cantered past his previous best ODI score of 117, while ensuring he took the single at the end of each over to keep Tamim off strike. He had hit successive sixes off the first two balls of the final over, bowled by Thisara Perera, before he holed out attempting a third six.

More Nepal News

Access More

Sign up for Nepal News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!