Mehidy Hasan Miraz turned out to be India’s nemesis for the second time in as many matches by scoring an unbeaten 83-ball century while veteran batter Mahmudullah made a fine 77 to carry Bangladesh to a respectable 271/7 in 50 overs in their second ODI against India at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium (SBNCS) in Mirpur on Wednesday.
Bangladesh were in tatters at 69/6 in 19 overs as the top-order failed to fire again. But Mehidy and Mahmudullah joined forces to bail the hosts out of trouble. The duo put on a marathon stand of 148 runs off 165 balls for the seventh wicket to lead an absolutely stunning recovery for Bangladesh.
Coupled with Nasum Ahmed’s 18 not out, Bangladesh made 68 runs in the last five overs as India’s bowling lost the plot for the second time in the series. Their matters were made worse by injury concerns to captain Rohit Sharma and Deepak Chahar.
Mehidy began by cutting Washington Sundar through backward point, while Mahmudullah had luck on his side when the top-edge flew over a leaping keeper off Mohammed Siraj. The duo rotated strike well, while hitting the loose balls for boundaries.
Mehidy hit boundaries behind square mostly and even took on Sundar by dancing down the pitch to hit over long-on for six. He went on to employ the cut and slog-sweep to perfection against Axar Patel’s left-arm spin.
Mahmudullah joined the party by hitting Umran Malik for boundaries over mid-off and mid-on, followed by Mehidy completing his third ODI fifty. Four overs later, Mahmudullah also completed his half-century, signalling a return to form.
Mehidy began the last 10-overs phase with a nick off Shardul Thakur going to the third man rope, while Mahmudullah drove on the up, swat-pulled and whipped off his wrists against the pacers. The partnership ended when Malik rushed Mahmudullah with a quick short ball, which the right-hander tried to slash and was caught behind by a diving keeper.
Nasum maintained the attacking tempo by carting Malik over mid-off for successive boundaries while Mehidy got a top-edge over the keeper’s head to make it three boundaries off the 47th over.
Nasum continued his onslaught when he cleanly lofted Siraj over his head for six, while Mehidy punched in the gap between mid-off and extra cover, drove off front foot and scooped Malik for three boundaries in the 49th over.
In the final over, Mehidy shuffled across to beautifully slog Thakur over backward square leg fence for six, followed by heaving him high over deep mid-wicket for another maximum. He reached his maiden ODI century in 83 balls with a single to long-on on the last ball of the innings, with the crowd giving him a rousing standing ovation.
Earlier, Siraj got the ball to talk a lot though he conceded two boundaries and almost had Haque caught if Rohit hadn’t dropped the catch at second slip, causing him to leave the field after a blow on left thumb.
But Haque was dismissed on the very next ball, trapped plumb lbw by Siraj with the one that came back in sharply. Siraj had another success in first ten overs when he castled Das through the gate with a beautiful inswinger.
Malik was searingly quick in his first over, banging Shakib Al Hasan on his head, and then hitting again on the side of his back. He then came up with jaffa of a delivery to send Najmul Hossain Shanto’s off-stump on a cartwheel ride.
Shakib’s scratchy stay came to an end when he miscued a slog-sweep to juggling short third man off Sundar. In his next over, Sundar got turn and bounce to take Mushfiqur Rahim’s glove edge to leg-slip.
On the very next ball, he beat Afif Hossain with a slider coming back in and uproot off-stump. But from there, Mehidy, Mahmudullah and Nasum led a stunning recovery for Bangladesh, leaving India in trouble at mid-point of the innings.