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Mushfiqur Rahim’s 125 hauls Bangladesh to 246


Dushmantha Chameera and Lakshan Sandakan picked up three wickets apiece

48.1 overs: Bangladesh 246 (Mushfiqur 125, Chameera 3-44, Sandakan 3-54) v Sri Lanka

Mushfiqur Rahim‘s one-man show helped Bangladesh reach a fighting 246 in the second ODI. Sri Lanka never let the home side settle into partnerships, but they couldn’t quite contain Rahim, who reached his eighth ODI century. Rahim scored fluently despite the regular loss of wickets at the other end and two rain breaks when he was in his nineties.

Rahim was the last man out, ruing missing out on the last 11 balls as he fell at the start of the 49th over. He struck ten fours in his 125 off 127 balls, and found very little support at the other end apart from an 87-run fifth wicket stand with Mahmudullah. He was left to bat with the tail in the last ten overs, when Bangladesh had only three wickets in hand.

Rahim tailored his batting to the nature of the pitch, seldom driving down the ground, and using deflections expertly. He struck three fours through the covers and one down the ground, while several were placed just metres away from the wicketkeeper; perhaps the Shere Bangla National Stadium pitch remained two-paced.

Dushmantha Chameera and Lakshan Sandakan took three wickets each for Sri Lanka, while Isuru Udana took two wickets, and Wanindu Hasaranga one.

The second ODI got off to a chaotic start when Udana conceded 14 runs in two legal deliveries. He delivered a no-ball and a wide, and Tamim Iqbal hit him for three boundaries. Off the fourth legal ball of the match, Iqbal was dropped at point.

Sri Lanka got things back in order immediately after the 15-run first over, with Dushmantha Chameera trapping Iqbal lbw with his first ball. It was the type of inswinging delivery that has often bothered the left-handed opener. Later in the over Chameera got another ball to swing back into the pads, this time trapping Shakib Al Hasan leg-before. It was Shakib’s first duck in ODIs in three years.

Liton Das, whose opening position was called into question by none other than the BCB president, fell for 25, his highest score in his last eight ODIs. His mode of dismissal – cutting a Sandakan half-tracker to point – ensured he will remain under pressure to keep his place. Sandakan also had Mosaddek Hossain, playing his first ODI in nearly three years, caught down the leg-side, leaving Bangladesh 74 for 4.

It was nearly the same position as the first ODI, in which they were 99 for 4, and from where Rahim and Mahmudullah put together a recovery act. This time they added 87 runs for the fifth wicket, again mostly relying on rotating the strike rather than looking for boundaries.

Rahim struck just one four during this partnership while Mahmudullah struck two sixes and a four in his 41 off 58 balls. Just when the partnership looked to be assuming dangerous proportions, Kusal Perera outsmarted Mahmudullah by correctly anticipating his paddle-sweep, and getting the ball to stick in his left glove.

Rahim had to do most of the scoring in the last ten overs, having found little support from allrounders Afif Hossain, Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Mohammad Saifuddin. It didn’t help Bangladesh that they had to endure two rain breaks, which left very little momentum leading into the final stretch of their innings.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84