Mahmudullah and Kayes put on 128 runs in 26.3 overs
Mahmudullah and Kayes put on 128 runs in 26.3 overs

Mahmudullah and a returning Imrul Kayes out their heads down to tough it out in the searing heat at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi to help Bangladesh to 249 for seven in Match 3 of the Super Four of the 2018 Asia Cup, after the top-order once again faltered.

Opting to bat first, Bangladesh lost opener Nazmul Hossain Shanto for six in the fifth over before new ball bowler Mujeeb ur Rahman had Mohammad Mithun (1) trapped in front in the next over.

Liton Das, the other opener, looked good and made 41 off 43 before he became Rahis Khan’s victim in his very first over. However, in company of Mushfiqur Rahim (33), Das had taken Bangladesh to a 81 runs in the 19th over, setting up a good platform for the middle-order to consolidate.

However, that was not to be as Bangladesh were dented with two quick wickets of Shakib Al Hasan (0) and Rahim. Bangladesh had lost three wickets for just six runs and were starting down the barrel at 87 for five.

Mahmudullah and Kayes, drafted into the squad just two days ago and playing in place of allrounder Mosaddek Hossain, put their hands up and negotiated a tough spell from Rashid and Mohammad Nabi to rebuild the Bangladesh innings.

The duo put on 128 runs in 26.3 overs. Mahmudullah was the aggressor and compiled his 16th ODI fifty, while Kayes, 31, playing his first ODI since October, 2017 made the most of his his recall and went on to add an unbeaten 72 off 89 balls – his 5th ODI fifty.

Mahmudullah departed for 74 off 81 balls to Alam as Afghanistan managed to restrict Bangladesh in the last five overs, ending with 249 for seven.

Brief Scores: Bangladesh 249/7 (Mahmudullah 74, Imrul Kayes 72; Aftab Alam 3/54) against Afghanistan