Mahmudullah helps Bangladesh to competitive total

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Mirpur (Bangladesh), March 6 (IANS) Mahmudullah produced some lower order fireworks as Bangladesh posted 125/5 in 15 overs in the Asia Cup final against India at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium here on Sunday evening.

Walking in with Bangladesh in trouble at 75/5, the right-hander proceeded to hit two boundaries and an equal number of sixes in his 13-ball innings to remain unbeaten on 32.

Sabbir Rahman gave him crucial support from the other end with 32 runs from 29 balls. The duo produced a 45-run partnership to help the hosts to a competitive total.

Indian pacers Jasprit Bumrah (1/13) and Ashish Nehra (1/33) made good use of the seam friendly conditions to remove the Bangladesh opener early on.

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who opened the Indian bowling, had figures of 1/14 while left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja (1/25) also bagged a wicket.

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Bangladesh had a decent start with 11 runs in the first two overs before Bumrah pegged back the run rate with just three runs in the third over.

The Bangladesh openers tried to push up rate with Soumya Sarkar smashing two boundaries in the next over. But Nehra struck back immediately as Sarkar mistimed the last ball of the over while playing across the line to offer an easy catch to Hardik Pandya at mid-off.

Bumrah then piled on the pressure by trapping Tamim Iqbal leg before.

With both openers gone, Shakib al Hasan and Sabbir Rahman set about trying to rebuild the innings.

They were cautious in the initial stages before trying to break the shackles with some big hits. The duo added 34 runs between them before Shakib was caught by Bumrah at short fine leg while trying to sweep Ashwin.

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Bangladesh suffered back to back jolts in the 12th over when Mushfiqur Rahim was found short of his crease while attempting a second run, while Mashrafe Mortaza holed out to deep midwicket in the very next ball as Bangladesh reeled at 75/5.

Mahmudullah then provided the crucial big hits later on to help the hosts to a strong finish.

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