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Mushfiq, Tigers bowlers raze SL
Bangladesh struggled from the beginning in their innings but Mushfiqur Rahim fought till the end as the Tigers posted 261 on the board, before their bowlers made a combined effort to bundle Sri Lanka out for 124 in 35.2 overs and start the campaign on a positive note.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim's career-best 144-run innings, boosted by opener Tamim Iqbal's heroics, and inspired bowling by the Tigers saw them beat Sri Lanka convincingly by 137 runs in the opening match of the Asia Cup at Dubai International Cricket Stadium Saturday.
Sri Lanka paceman Lasith Malinga, who finished with impressive bowling figure of 4/23 in 10 overs after returning to the ODI fold following a year, shattered Bangladesh by picking up stumper-batsman Liton Das and all-rounder Shakib al Hasan in the very first over.
Things got worse for the Tigers as a delivery from seamer Suranga Lakmal in the next over hit Tamim's wrist and the left-handed batsman had to leave the field with sheer pain leaving his side in distress.
But Mushfiq was determined to resurrect his side from the wreck and he got a supporting hand in middle-order batsman Mohammad Mithun, who made 63 off 68 balls to form a 131-run third wicket stand, but the innings lost its way as all-rounder Mahmudullah and youngster Mosaddek Hossain both got out for one each after Mithun was dismissed.
Mushfiq continued his lone battle and earned a deserved ton, the sixth of his ODI career, to help the side get past the 200-run mark.
However, when tail-ender Mustafizur Rahman was dismissed in the fifth ball of the 47th over, leaving the side on 229, it seemed the innings was all over with Mushfiq not out at the crease.
But Tamim entered the arena with a broken hand and blocked the final ball of Lakmal's over that gave Mushfiq so much confidence that he added another 32 off the next 15 balls before getting caught in the deep of a delivery from seamer Thisara Perera in the final over.
While chasing the score, Sri Lankan opener Upul Tharanga made a flying start but his partner Kusal Mendis was dismissed for a duck against Mustafizur.
Sri Lanka's innings could never get going as the Tigers bowlers picked up wickets at regular interval as skipper Mashrafe bin Mortaza, Mustafizur and spinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz got two wickets each while Shakib, pacer Rubel Hossain and Mosaddek bagged one apiece.
Sri Lanka 124 in 35.2 overs (Mustafizur 2/20, Miraz 2/21) lost to Bangladesh 261 in 45.3 overs (Mushfiq 144, Mithun 63) by 137 runs.