DUBAI: Bangladesh won the opening match of Asia Cup against Sri Lanka by 137 runs after Mushfiqur Rahim’s propelling ton and an all-round bowling effort to reduce the opposition on a mere 124.
Batting first after winning the toss, Bangladesh made 261 in 49.3 overs and then bowled out Sri Lanka for 131 runs in 35 overs.
Main scorers for Sri Lanka were Dilruwan Perera (29), Upul Tharanga (27) and Suranga Lakmal (20) while for Bangladesh Mustafizur Rahman, Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Mashrafe Mortaza claimed two wickets each.
The Man of the Match was wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim, who batted bravely to help Bangladesh setting a difficult target of 262.
He came at the crease after recalled Sri Lankan paceman Lasith Malinga removed Liton Das and Shakib Al Hasan for ducks in the very first over of the match.
Bangladesh’s start became more disastrous when opener Tamim Iqbal retired hurt at the total of just two runs on the board.
However, Mushfiqur played a fighting innings to take out his team from trouble and steered his team to 261, made off 49.3 overs.
The 31-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman, during the process, completed his sixth ODI century and was the last man to be out after making 144 runs from 150 balls with eleven fours and four sixes.
This was the highest score he made so far in his 12-year ODI career of 188 matches.
Mushfiqur was ably supported by Mohammad Mithan, who contributed an aggressive 63 from 68 balls with five fours and two towering sixes. Both added 131 for the third wicket
Opener Tamim Iqbal, who retired hurt after just making two runs, came to bat again at fall of the ninth wicket and batted one-handedly to help Mushfiqur add 32 runs for the last wicket.
For Sri Lanka, Malinga captured four wickets for 23 runs in his first match in 13 months while off-break bowler Dhananjhaya de Silva took two for 38.
Rahim added 131 for the third wicket with Mohammad Mithun (63) to lead the recovery after recalled Sri Lankan paceman Lasith Malinga removed Liton Das and Shakib Al Hasan for ducks.
Meanwhile, Tamim Iqbal will play no further part in the Asia Cup after fracturing his left wrist during Bangladesh’s tournament opener against Sri Lanka.
The left-handed opener sustained the injury from only the third ball he faced when a Suranga Lakmal delivery struck him.
Tamim briefly received treatment from the team physio but was forced to retire hurt on two not out at the Dubai International Stadium and is now expected to be out of action for six weeks.
The 29-year-old is Bangladesh’s all-time leading run-scorer and centurion in ODI cricket and his absence will come as a significant blow to the team’s hopes in the tournament.
The second match of the tournament will be played between Pakistan and Hong Kong in Group A on Sunday at the same venue.