A priceless century from Bangladesh’s Mushfiqur Rahim earned his side a convincing victory in the first ODI in Group B of the Asia Cup in Dubai.
Sri Lankan speedster Lasith Malinga returned to ODI cricket after a year’s absence with a bang, ripping out two Bangladesh batsmen in the first over of the match.
Bangladesh were two wickets down for just two runs when Mohammad Mithun joined Rahim, and the pair added 131 runs for the third wicket in good time to ensure Bangladesh could post a competitive target.
Wickets fell regularly after the loss of Mithun for 63 (68 balls, five fours, two sixes), but Rahim stood firm, going to his sixth ODI century before continuing the fight until the 49th over, when he was last man out after scoring 144 off 150 balls (11 fours, four sixes), with Bangladesh ending strong on 261.
Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal was not out on two runs after facing just four balls in the innings, which would have been the most unlikely instance of carrying your bat, had it not been for an injury he sustained in the second over that saw him retire hurt and spend most of the innings on the sidelines.
Iqbal bravely returned to the middle in the 47th over to give Rahim the chance to add some valuable runs in the final overs. The pair added 32 runs for the last wicket, with Rahim doing brilliantly to farm almost all the strikes away from his injured partner.
Iqbal has been ruled out of the rest of the tournament because of his injury.
Malinga finished with the excellent figures of 10-2-23-4 (econ 2.30), while Dhananjaya de Silva also gave the Bangladesh batsmen something to think about, returning figures of 2-38 off seven overs.
In reply, Sri Lanka started swiftly but lost wickets at regular intervals to find themselves seven down for 69 runs in the 19th over. They struggled through to the start of the 36th over, when they were bowled out for 124 to give Bangladesh a thumping 137-run victory.
The Bangladesh bowlers were all superb, with Mehidy Hasan Miraz (3-21, econ 3.00), Mustafizur Rahman (3-20, econ 3.33) and Mashrafe Mortaza (2-25) doing the most damage.
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