Dubai: Mushfiqur Rahim (144, 150b, 11×4, 4×6) hit a superb hundred under pressure as Bangladesh scored a competitive 261 against Sri Lanka despite Lasith Malinga (4/23) wreaking havoc on his international comeback in the Asia Cup opener here Saturday.
Save 131-run stand with Mohammed Mithun (63, 68b, 5×4, 2×6) for the third wicket, the former skipper Mushfiqur didn’t get any assistance from other batsmen as the wily Malinga showed that he is still a force to reckon with.
Opener Tamim Iqbal’s heroic act will also be remembered by one and all as he came out to bat despite having retired hurt with a fractured wrist. Tamim allowed Mushfiqur to have one final blast during the slog overs.
Once Malinga and off-spinner Dhananjaya de Silva (2/38) reduced Bangladesh to 203/8, Mushfiqur shielded no 11 Mustafizur Rahaman (10) during the 26-run stand. Once Mustafizur was out, Tamim removed his hand-cast and came out in order to allow his partner to play the final three overs. The Tamim-Mushfiqur pair added an invaluable 32 runs in 2.4 overs.
However Malinga’s superb effort was story of the initial part of the match. Coming back from semi-retirement with a slight paunch and a shorter run-up, Malinga showed his mastery as he bowled four different deliveries to get his scalps.
Liton Das (0) nicked an outswinger in the slip cordon, Shakib Al Hasan (0) was castled by his signature inswinging yorker, Mithun skied a slower delivery while Mosddek Hossain was done in by a slow bouncer. Even Mushfiqur failed to score runs off the slinger who bowled as many as 44 dot balls.
However the seasoned Mushfiqur got runs off spinners, scoring on both sides of the wicket. He used his feet well against left-arm spinner Malmiga Aponso and off-spinners Dilruwan Perera and De Silva. As wickets fell at the other end, it became difficult for Mushfiqur, who considerably slowed down in his 90’s. His hundred came with a glide off Suranga Lakmal off 123 balls.
But once Mustafizur was out and injured Tamim came in for support, Mushfiqur just cut loose getting 32 runs in 2.4 overs before he was the last batsman to be dismissed.
Brief scores: Bangladesh 261 (Mushfiqur Rahim 144; Mohammad Mithun 63; Lasith Malinga 4/23) vs Sri Lanka. Match to continue.