On a wicket that seemed a bit more difficult to bat on than the first ODI, Bangladesh, in the second ODI against England in Mirpur , were restricted to 238 for 8.
Bangladesh’s top order, except for Mahmudullah Riyad, struggled. Riyad, who scored 75 off 88 balls, tried to anchor the innings for most part of the game and unfortunately got out when the team needed him most, towards the end.
Had it not been for a 69-run stand for the eighth wicket in 8.1 overs between captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and Nasir Hossain, which was the biggest stand of the innings, the hosts would have been bundled below 200.
Mashrafe hammered a 44-ball 29 with three sixes and two fours to bring the game back into life. Nasir, playing his first game of the year, complemented the captain with a 27-ball 27.
The England bowlers changed their strategy in the second game and fired in bouncers. Both the openers were peppered with bouncers and eventually they were dismissed by short-pitched deliveris as well. While Imrul Kayes top-edged Chris Woakes to deep square in the seventh over, Tamim was caught at mid-wicket in the ninth over.
Sabbir Rahman couldn’t adjust to the wicket and struggled to score runs. Jake Ball eventually bowled him in the 14th over for a 21-ball 3. Sabbir had stepped to the off-side like he often does and attempted to heave Ball. However, Ball bowled a short-pitched in-swinging delivery, which Sabbir edged to the wicket.
Mushfiqur Rahim too got out to a short ball as well. While he seemed to be doing well, all of a sudden, he got a bouncer, which he decided to pull. He top edged that to fine leg and that ended a 50-run stand between Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah.
Mahmudullah needed a partner in order to create another partnership and with Shakib Al Hasan in next, many reckoned that he would be able to do that.
However, Shakib too got dismissed to a short-pitched delivery. In Shakib’s case, the dismissal was a bit more awkward. He merely edged a bouncer, which was going down the leg-side. Joss Buttler took a good diving catch towards his left and reduced Bangladesh to 113 for 5 in the 28th over.
Mahmudullah though found some support from youngster Mosaddek Hossain and scored a 48-run stand with him for the seventh wicket. While Mosaddek didn’t look too comfortable, he did however, manage to stay on and helped Mahmudullah build a stand.
The duo had taken the team total to 161 right before the 40th over. It was the right time for Riyad to unleash himself, however, he got trapped in front while trying to sweep Adil Rashid. Rashid bowled the wrong one, Riyad misjudged that and was sent back to the pavilion.
Soon after, Mosaddek too departed to a short-pitched delivery. Oddly enough, this time, a spinner bowled the shorter one. He tried to heave Rashid over deep midwicket for a six, but only managed to find the fielder.
At 169 for 7 in 41.4 overs, Bangladesh needed a hero. And someone who is already considered a legend in the country’s cricketing fraternity answered that call.
Mashrafe, who struggled with the bat throughout the Afghanistan series and also failed to impress in the first ODI, all of a sudden seemed to time the ball to perfection.
While the top order tried to negotiate the English spinners by going on to the back foot, Mashrafe charged Moeen Ali by coming down the track and smacking him for two huge sixes in the 43rd over.
The crowd, which barely made a sound throughout the game, suddenly came alive. In the 45th over, Mashrafe played an odd-looking pull to swat Woakes for a four in deep midwicket.
In the following over, David Willey was swept for a six down the ground and then stroked for a boundary over mid-off.
Courtesy of Mashrafe’s cameo, Bangladesh had crossed 200, a score that they initially didn’t seem like reaching.
After that it was all Mashrafe. He showed each of the bowlers all the three stumps as they approached to bowl him and tried to dispatch them for boundaries in ever ball.
He eventually got run out in the second-last ball of the innings, but he knew that he had put enough on the board to provide the hosts with some hope of staying alive in the series.