Ton-up Mahmudullah steers Bangladesh to 288-7


HAMILTON: Mohammad Mahmudullah hit a second successive century to lead Bangladesh to a respectable 288-7 against New Zealand in the World Cup Pool A match in Hamilton on Friday.

The 29-year-old right-hander, who hit a match-winning 103 against England in Adelaide on Monday, scored a 123-ball undefeated 128 to lift Bangladesh from a struggling 27-2 after New Zealand won the toss and sent Bangladesh into bat on a flat Seddon Park pitch.

Mahmudullah, dropped on one by Corey Anderson off Tim Southee, anchored the innings and added an invaluable 90 for the third wicket with Soumya Sarkar (51) and another 78 for the sixth with Sabbir Rahman who made a fiery 23-ball 40.

Mahmudullah steered paceman Mitchell McClenaghan towards third man for a couple to complete his hundred off 111 balls before blowing a kiss to the applauding Bangladeshi fans.

He became only the second Bangladeshi batsman to score back-to-back hundreds in all one-day internationals after Shahriar Nafees who achieved the feat against Zimbabwe at home in 2006.

In all Mahmudullah hit 12 fours and three sixes as New Zealand’s bowlers were tested for the first time in the tournament with Southee going wicketless.

“They got through that initial period when it swung. Once they got through it they were able to pile on the runs, especially with the short boundaries,” said Southee.

“It shows that once you get in, the runs will come. We have the guys to bat out these kind of conditions. It is a tough ground to defend on, so if you are not used to it, it will be a challenge. We just hope our guys can get off to fast start.”

Rahman raised the tempo by hitting two sixes and five fours to help Bangladesh add 104 runs in the last ten overs.

Left-arm paceman Trent Boult had jolted Bangladesh by dismissing Imrul Kayes (two) and Tamim Iqbal (13) in his first spell to finish with 2-56.

Anderson removed senior Bangladeshi batsmen Shakib A Hasan for 23 and Mushfiqur Rahim for 15 to finish with 2-43.

Bangladesh were without their regular skipper Mashrafe Mortza after he was ruled out due to a soar throat and a calf injury while New Zealand had to leave out unfit Adam Milne and brought in McClenaghan for their first change in the tournament.

Both New Zealand and Bangladesh have already qualified for the quarter-finals, with the co-hosts winning all their five games to top the pool. -AFP