IND v BAN, 2nd ODI: Mahmudullah kept telling to keep playing deep in the innings, says Mehidy

After a Player of the Match performance in the first ODI against India, Mehidy Hasan Miraz was once again the nemesis of the visitors on Wednesday at the same venue, making his maiden hundred in the 50-over format coming off just 83 balls to lead Bangladesh to a series victory.

Walking in when Bangladesh were 69/6 in 19 overs, Mehidy and Mahmudullah put on 148 runs for the seventh wicket to defy India’s bowlers and give Bangladesh a chance to win, which they eventually did by five runs. Now, after another Player of the Match award, Mehidy revealed that Mahmudullah, who made 77, kept telling him to play deep in the innings.

“He (Mahmudullah) is a senior guy and we just wanted to build a partnership. He kept telling me that we need to keep playing deep into the innings and the conversations were mostly about keeping small targets of partnerships,” said Mehidy in the post-match presentation ceremony.

The seventh-wicket stand of 148 between Mahmudullah and Mehidy is also the highest partnership for any wicket against India in men’s ODI cricket. The unbeaten century from Mehidy was just the second instance of a player from number eight or lower making a hundred in ODIs, equalling Ireland’s off-spin all-rounder Simi Singh unbeaten 100 against South Africa last year.

“All credit goes to God for giving me an opportunity to do this. Nothing else to say. Feels very good. Last few years I’ve worked hard and I need to focus on particular areas. The coach gives me lots of information as to how to play in international cricket.”

“It was a great moment for me and while bowling I just tried the good areas to put pressure on them,” added Mehidy, who also picked two wickets despite cramps troubling him.

Bangladesh’s stand-in skipper Litton Das was an elated man in getting an ODI series victory in his first time as a captain and praised Mehidy as well as Mahmudullah for leading the hosts to a thrilling victory.

“Feeling very happy. Winning the series as captain – it’s a dream come true. I decided that 240 would be enough in Mirpur. We lost six wickets and were under pressure, but the way Miraz and Riyad bhai (Mahmudullah) played was outstanding. Don’t know what their conversations were, but what they did was simply superb.”

With an unassailable 2-0 lead, Das added that Bangladesh will go for a win in the third ODI at Chattogram on Saturday. “The wicket played well in the second half and I just changed the bowlers, so I couldn’t afford to bowl too many of my main bowlers early on. We are going for winning the match (in Chattogram).”

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