Stunning Shakib, Mahmudullah heist knocks NZ out, raises semifinals hopes

Published : 10 Jun 2017, 11:42

Jagoroniya Desk

A spectacular fightback by centurions Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah has stunned New Zealand into a 5-wicket defeat and brightened Bangladesh's prospects of playing their first Champions Trophy semifinals.

The Tigers rode on a record 224-run partnership between Shakib and Mahmudullah to pull off a miraculous victory, reaching the target of 266 with 16 balls in hand in the Group A game in Cardiff on Friday.

Shakib smashed his seventh ODI century on way to a swashbuckling 114 while his partner in crime, Mahmudullah, was unbeaten on a sparkling 102 after the Tigers were decimated by the Kiwi bowlers in the opening exchanges.

The victory, which knocked the Black Caps out of the tournament, came 12 years after Bangladesh famously shocked Australia here at Sophia Gardens on June 15, 2005.

The Tigers will go through to the semi-finals with just one win in the group stages if England beat Australia at Edgbaston on Saturday or if the game is a washout.

Shakib and Mahmudullah helped the team survive a shock top order collapse losing three for 12 inside the 5th over.

Bangladesh’s batting had begun in the worst possible fashion when a rampaging Tim Southee ripped out the top order with a three-wicket burst.

He struck with his second ball to remove in-form Tamim Iqbal who played across a swinging delivery for 0. He then trapped Soumya Sarker (3) and had Sabbir Rahman (8) edge to the wicketkeeper.

And when birthday boy Mushfiqur Rahim (14) lost his stumps, Bangladesh’s prospects appeared dead and buried with not too many top-class batsmen to follow.

The dismissal brought Shakib and Mahmudullah together at the crease, and they slowly went about rebuilding the innings with clinical batting. With time, they grew in confidence, put away poor deliveries and ran hard.

In the process, they scripted an epic with the highest stand for Bangladesh for any wicket in all ODIs, and the highest fifth wicket stand in Champions Trophy.

It was only the second time two Bangladesh batsmen scored hundreds in the same ODI innings  - Tamim and Mushfiqur did so against Pakistan in Mirpur in 2015.

The partnership raced past 100 and then 150 and with 10 overs to go, the rate required was just over a run per ball.

As the finishing line came in sight, fears of the batsmen showing nerves and blowing it up were palpable.

But Shakib soon launched Milne for a six to bring up his century off 11 balls to allay any concerns.

He fell not long after looking to end the Kiwi agony quickly, but Mahmudullah hung on to complete his own hundred off 107 deliveries.

Mosaddek Hossain hit the winning runs to seal the historic win which meant New Zealand ended their campaign winless.

Earlier, the Black Caps, unchanged from their previous match against England, won the toss and decided to bat after a delayed start due to a wet field.

They rode on Ross Taylor’s dogged 63 and 57 from Captain Kane Williamson, who became the first player to score 50 or more in consecutive innings in the tournament, to finish on 265 for 8.

They paired for a 83-run stand to raise hopes of taking the total close to 300. But the captain’s gritty 69-ball innings ended when he got run out in a mix-up against the run of play.

Neil Broom (36) then added 49 runs with Taylor.

New Zealand looked set for a strong finish until Mashrafe Bin Mortaza brought offspinner Mosaddek in the 42nd over.

The move paid off as he claimed the big wickets of Broom, Corey Anderson and James Neesham and the run rate slowed.

Mosaddek’s 3 for 13 in 3 overs was the best figures by a Bangladeshi bowler in Champions Trophy history and it made sure the Kiwis did not take the game out of their reach.

They scored only 62 runs in the final 10 overs and lost 4 wickets as the bowlers turned the screw. It allowed Bangladesh to claw their way back into the game.

Taskin finished 2 for 43 in his 8 overs while Rubel and Mustafizur took one apiece.

Source: bdnews24

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