Mahmudullah key for Bangladesh in last-eight, says Shakib


HAMILTON: Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan believes in-form batsman Mohammad Mahmudullah could hold the key to a shock World Cup quarter-final win over defending champions India.

Bangladesh lost by three wickets to New Zealand in their final group game on Friday, a result which left the Asian side in fourth spot in Pool A and having to face Pool B winners India in their last-eight clash in Melbourne on March 19.

New Zealand, with six wins in six, topped Pool A but are still waiting to discover who they will meet in Wellington on March 21 as Pakistan, West Indies and Ireland are still tussling to qualify from Pool B.

Bangladesh, put into bat at Seddon Park, made 288-7 in their 50 overs with Mahmudullah hitting his second consecutive hundred with a 123-ball 128 not out to add to his ton in Monday’s thrilling 15-run win over England.

Soumya Sarkar scored a career best 51 adding an invaluable 90 runs for the third wicket after Bangladesh were struggling at 27-2.

“Mahmudullah needs to continue his form, he is in great touch so hopefully he can contribute with bat and ball and let’s see what happens,” said Shakib.

“I thought we played really well, the way we batted was good. We bowled well too and kept it tight. We can take a lot of positives from the game and hopefully we can take that into the quarter-finals.”

For New Zealand, Martin Guptill hit 105 off 100 balls with Ross Taylor adding a half-century, passing 5,000 ODI runs in the process.

“It feels good. I felt pretty good most of the summer,” said Guptill. “We have a lot of belief and the way we are executing our skills is pleasing. We just need to keep that up over the next few weeks.” AFP