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The Times of India
The Times of India
TOI Sports Desk

Asia Cup: Mehidy Hasan and Najmul Shanto tons propel Bangladesh to 334/5 against Afghanistan

NEW DELHLI: Allrounder Mehidy Hasan and Najmul Shanto smashed cracking centuries to help Bangladesh to a solid 334 for 5 in their must-win Asia Cup Group B match against Afghanistan in Lahore on Sunday.

Miraz hit a 119-ball 112 for his highest ODI score while Shanto scored a 105-ball 104 as Bangladesh put up their highest ODI total outside their own country.

The duo together hit the ball 16 times to the fence and five times over it as they looked in command at the Gaddafi Stadium.

After an underwhelming batting display in their tournament opener, the Bangladesh batting unit gave a good account of itself.

Afghanistan bowlers were guilty of leaking runs, especially left-arm medium pacer Fazalhaq Farooqi (0/53 in 6 overs), as skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi struggled to find answers.

Even star spinner Rashid Khan (0/66 in 10 overs) was ineffective as he remained wicketless.

Playing in the scorching heat, Hasan put up a 60-run opening stand with Mohammad Naim (28) to give Bangladesh a strong start.

However, Afghanistan put Bangladesh in a spot of bother by claiming two wickets in quick succession.

Off-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman (1/62 in 10 overs) gave Afghanistan the first breakthrough as he cleaned up Naim with a perfect googly.

Medium pacer Gulbadin Naib (0/59 in 8 overs) then induced an outside edge to send Towhid Hridoy packing without opening his account.

Hassan then began the rebuilding act with Shanto. The two stitched a 215-run partnership.

The way both Shanto and Mehidy batted, it looked unlikely that any of the Afghan bowlers would be able to snare their wickets and that's what exactly happened.

Hasan retired hurt in the 43rd over due to cramps in his left hand.

A few overs later, Shanto attempted a reverse sweep but slipped as he set off to take a run, putting an end to his spectacular innings.

Despite three run-outs, the Afghan fielding was found wanting on several occasions.

Skipper Shakib Al Hasan (11 not out) and Shamim Hossain (10) took Bangladesh past the 300-run mark.

(With inputs from PTI)

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