Asia Cup Super Four 4th Match: Mahmudullah stars as Bangladesh claim nail-biting win and knock Afghanistan out

Mahmudullah 74 Bangladesh Afghanistan Asia Cup Super Four cricket

Mahmudullah scored his 20th ODI fifty

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Bangladesh all-rounder Mahmudullah struck a superb 74 and took a wicket as his side skirted past Afghanistan by three runs and knocked them out of the Asia Cup.

Choosing to bat first, Bangladesh got off to a horrible start as opener Nazmul Hossain Shanto was caught by Rahmat Shah at point off the bowling of Aftab Alam for six runs.

Mohammad Mithun fell three balls later as he was trapped lbw off the bowling of Mujeeb Ur Rahman for one run.

Liton Das and Mushfiqur Rahim stabilised the innings with a 63-run partnership before Liton was dismissed by Rashid Khan for 41.

Shakib Al Hasan was on his way back to the pavilion two balls later as he was run out by Samiullah Shenwari for a duck.

Rahim went on to score 33 before he was run out by Mohammad Nabi.

With Bangladesh struggling at 87/5, Mahmudullah and Imrul Kayes halted Afghanistan’s charge with a 128-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries.

Mahmudullah went on to score 74 off 81 balls, which included three boundaries and two sixes, before he was removed by Alam.

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza was sent packing shortly after, but with Kayes going on to score an unbeaten 72, which came off 89 deliveries and included six boundaries, his side finished on 249/7.

Alam was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Mujeeb and Rashid chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing 250 to win, Afghanistan did not get off to the best of starts as opener Ihsanullah was caught by Shanto at point off the bowling of Mustafizur Rahman for eight runs.

Rahmat only scored one run before he was run out by Shakib.

Despite losing Ihsanullah and Rahmat in quick succession, Mohammad Shahzad and Hashmatullah Shahidi steadied things with a 63-run partnership, during which Shahzad registered his fifty.

Mohammad Shahzad 53 Bangladesh Afghanistan Asia Cup Super Four cricket

Mohammad Shahzad struck his 13th half-century in ODI cricket

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

However, shortly after doing so, he was clean bowled by Mahmdullah for 53, which came off 81 balls and included eight boundaries.

Shahidi and Afghanistan skipper Asghar Afghan kept the runs flowing with a 78-run stand, during which Shahidi cruised past his fifty, before Asghar was caught by Mahmdullah at third man off the bowling of Mortaza for 39.

Hashmatullah Shahidi 71 Bangladesh Afghanistan Asia Cup Super Four cricket

Hashmatullah Shahidi made his fifth ODI half-century

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Shahidi ended up making 71, which came off 99 deliveries and included five boundaries, before he was cleaned up by Mortaza.

Nabi made a 28-ball 38 before he was dismissed by Shakib in the penultimate over of the match.

With Nabi gone, Afghanistan found themselves needing eight runs to win off the last over.

Rashid managed to score two runs off the first ball before he was caught and bowled by Mustafizur on the next ball.

Afghanistan only managed to score two runs off the next three balls, which left them requiring four runs to win off the last ball of the match.

However, Shenwari couldn’t get the job done as he missed the last delivery that Mustafizur bowled.

Mustafizur and Mortaza took two wickets apiece, while Shakib and Mahmudullah claimed one wicket each.

Asghar was gutted to have lost, and said: “Congratulations to Bangladesh. Painful game. 8 off 6 is not difficult because Rashid, Nabi, Shenwari can do it. But I will give credit to him, he bowled his variations. Everything was going to plan. Again we lost in the last over. Again the batsmen going for big shots at the end, which didn’t work. We have learnt a lot, especially because we are playing against Full Members.”

Mortaza was relieved to have won, and said: “End of the match, Mustafiz was a magician. Lost so many matches [where] couldn’t score 8-9 runs but we defended it today. Hadn’t given up – Shakib bowled really well in his last three balls. After that we told Mustafiz to look for wickets because they would have missed it. But first have to give credit to Mahmudullah and Imrul Kayes. Mustafiz cramped a bit, we wanted him to bowl 10 overs but he couldn’t. Couldn’t even bowl yorker because he had a cramp in his calf. Hopefully we’ll have a good crack at the virtual semi-final.”

Mahmudullah was named Man of the Match, and said: “Weather was hot and I was feeling a bit dried up. But we did it in the end, credit must go to Mustafiz. We knew they had some good hitters an they held their nerve well but in the end we came out on top, so a good team effort. I always feel happy to contribute to the team. Me and Imrul had a good partnership. We were trying to get to the end. But in the end it was the bowlers who defended it. We have to bring our A-game for the Pakistan match.”

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