Mushfiqur Rahim hits Bangladesh’s fastest ODI century in washout
Mushfiqur Rahim smashed Bangladesh's fastest century, off 60 balls, as his team broke the record for their highest total in ODIs yet again. Bangladesh reached 349 for 6 in 50 overs against Ireland, beating the 338 for 8 from the previous game in Sylhet. Mushfiqur completed his entertaining hundred off the last ball of the innings, racing across for a single that took him past Shakib Al Hasan and his 63-ball century against Zimbabwe in 2009.
Rain ruined the rest of the game though, which had to be called off at 8.32pm local time, without a single ball bowled in the chase.
Mushfiqur mixed his class with a bit of innovation and power in an innings where he also went past 7000 runs. He cracked three fours through cover, six through point and two through fine leg. His sixes, both technically brilliant, were smashed over point and wide long-off. All of this having only walked in to bat in the 34th over. No Bangladesh batter had ever walked in that late in the innings and scored a century.
Early on, Bangladesh were fueled by a pair of seventies from Najmul Hossain Shanto and Litton Das. Once again, Graham Hume was the best Ireland bowler on show, taking three wickets, but the rest couldn't really deal with the challenge.
Mushfiqur and Towhid Hridoy added 128 runs for the fourth wicket in just 78 balls, the fastest 100-plus stand in Bangladesh's ODI history. It is also the second-fastest in Bangladesh, just behind the Inzamam-ul-Haq and Moin Khan stand which added 104 off 61 balls in the Asia Cup final in 2000.
It all began in dank and cloudy conditions, with the ball seaming around appreciably as the Ireland bowlers thrived. Forty-two runs in the first Powerplay isn't a lot, but batting through it losing just one wicket is a credit to the Bangladesh top order. But just when captain Tamim Iqbal looked he was getting into the groove of things, he got run-out for 23. He called his partner for a very tight single to short fine and Mark Adair was able to catch him well short of his ground.
Bangladesh's recovery from that early wicket was swift too. Shanto and Litton added 101 runs in just 16 overs, as the pair batted serenely, threading gaps and finding boundaries at ease.
Litton however fell to a soft dismissal in the 26th over, dinking a simple catch to midwicket. He made 70 off 71 balls with three fours and three sixes, all of which came in the region between wide long-off and midwicket. Shakib fell trying to slog Hume, getting caught at point for 17. An over and two balls later, Hume picked up Shanto caught behind down the leg side.
Shanto, who was dropped by Tector at point when on 6, made 73 off 77 balls, including three fours and two sixes. All his fours came through the off side while the sixes were struck down the ground.
Mushfiqur and Hridoy made the best use of Bangladesh's strong base. The pair played out 16 balls to get themselves in, before launching into the Ireland attack. They struck debutant Mark Humphreys for three fours in a 14-run over. Then Mushfiqur brought out the drive over long-off for six off Curtis Campher, before Hridoy struck Andy McBrine for a fierce six over long-on.
In the next over, the 43rd, Mushfiqur latched into Adair's pace, pasting him for two fours and a slapped six over point. He then went after Campher, hitting him for three boundaries in an 18-run over. Despite his good bowling, Hume didn't escape Mushfiqur's thrashing at this stage, getting hit for two fours in the 45th over.
Adair removed Hridoy in the 47th over, missing out on his second consecutive fifty since debut by just one run. Mushfiqur was on 78 at the time, but he struck a boundary each in the 48th and 49th overs, and took the nine runs he still needed for the century off teh last four balls of the innings. It was an excellent effort from the veteran batter who had previously hit a century off 69 balls against Pakistan in 2015. Bangladesh made 108 runs in the last ten overs, their third-highest tally in this phase of a 50-over innings (minimum 60 balls bowled).