Tuesday 24 June 2008 

Ashraful Century Enough For Bangladesh To Beat UAE

Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful scored his second One Day International century as his side beat the United Arab Emirates by 96 runs in the Asia Cup in Lahore.

Bangladesh scored 300 for eight, only the second time they have scored 300 in an ODI before bowling out the UAE for 204.

Bangladesh overcame the early loss of opening batsman Nazimuddin as Tamim Iqbal and Ashraful put on a half-century stand for the second wicket which was followed up by a stand of 141 for the third between Ashraful and Raqibul Hasan.

Nazimuddin was well caught by Arshad Ali at second slip off of Zahid Shah in the third over before captain Ashraful joined Tamim Iqbal, and they made their way to 107 before Tamim was run out by Vikrant Shetty attempting a third run having made 40.

Tamim was uncharacteristically circumspect, while Ashraful hit four fours early in his innings, going on to reach his half-century in 63 balls as Bangladesh passed 100 in the 23rd over, the pair adding 95 for the second wicket to put Bangladesh in a dominant position.

That position was consolidated by Ashraful, whose second ODI century came from 114 balls, containing eight fours and Raqibul Hasan, who marked his tenth cap with his third half-century from 48 balls and the pair brought up a century stand for the third wicket.

For the second match in a row, Raqibul fell within sight of a century, his pulsating innings of 83 from 63 balls ending when he top edged Zahid Shah with wicket-keeper Amjad Ali claiming the catch. Three balls later, Ashraful too was gone, run out by the wicket-keeper as Alok Kapali tried to steal a run.

He had scored a career-best of 109 from 126 balls, which included eight fours.

Kapali was soon caught and bowled by Khurram Khan, but late blasts from Mushfiqur Rahim (16 from 11) and Dolar Mahmud (20 from nine) enabled Bangladesh to breach the magic 300 mark for the first time outside of Bangladesh, and the first time since they did it against Kenya in 2006.

The UAE got off to an explosive start to the run chase thanks to Amjad Javed, who hit ten from nine balls before he was well caught by Tamim Iqbal off of Mashrafe Mortaza and one run later, Indika Batuwitarachchi was trapped in front by Shahadat Hossain for nought.

Captain Arshad Ali remained a steadying influence on his fellow batsmen but Amjad Ali (19) and Saqib Ali (ten) were unable to stay with him, falling to Abdur Razzak and Mahmudullah respectively.

Arshad fell for 41 when he was caught by Raqibul Hasan off of Mahmudullah - his innings included five fours and he added 37 with Khurram Khan as the UAE attempted to fight back.

Khurram went on to score a half-century despite losing partners Vikrant Shetty (seven) and Mohammad Tauqir (17) and looked set to register a century but was unable to do so as he holed out to long off for an impressive 78. Raqibul Hasan took a good tumbling catch to give Abdur Razzak his 100th wicket in One Day Internationals.

Alok Kapali rounded things off by bowling last man Fahad Alhasmi for a duck to return figures of two for 27 while Razzak ended with three for 20 and Mahmudullah two for 38.

Graham Wilson
© Cricket World 2008

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