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Shakib, Mahmudullah masterclass knock out New Zealand

Mahmudullah (right) celebrating Bangladesh's win over New Zealand
Mahmudullah (right) celebrating Bangladesh's win over New Zealand

Bangladesh 268-5 (Shakib 114) beat
New Zealand 265-8 (Taylor 63) by five wickets
Ninth match, Group A, ICC Champions Trophy, Cardiff

Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah came to Bangladesh's rescue with masterful tons to knock New Zealand out of the Champions Trophy 2017 by winning the game at Cardiff by five wickets on Friday.

After registering some major tournament victories back at home, the circle of attainment finally came to its defining moment for the Bangladeshi Tigers as they have positioned themselves with a chance to play their first semi-final in a major ICC tournament.

While chasing a target of 266, the Tigers got off to a ominous start after losing three wickets in 28 balls with just 12 runs on the board. However, against all odds Shakib and Mahmudullah composed a colossal 224-run partnership stand for the fifth wicket to sail their side to a historic win.

Earlier in the day, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson opted to bat first after winning the toss with weather radar showing no signs of rain yet an overcast condition at the Sophia Gardens.

The Blackcaps got off to a brisk start with Martin Guptill and Luke Ronchi scoring at 6.41 per over in the first seven overs.

Right-arm pacer Taskin Ahmed provided the Tigers the crucial breakthrough by dismissing Ronchi on 16. The wicketkeeper-batsman attempted to clear mid wicket but miscued it straight to Mustafizur Rahman at mid on.

Few overs later, Guptill followed his opening partner back into the pavilion after scoring 33 of 35 balls. Rubel Hossain caught him LBW dead straight in front of the middle stump.

Williamson along with Taylor got a decent 83-run partnership going for the third wicket while scoring at 4.83 per over. The Blackcaps skipper completed his 30th One-Day International fifty in 58 balls with the help of five boundaries. He was dismissed run-out in the 30th over after getting into a horrible mix-up.

Taylor was then joined by Neil Broom for the fourth wicket partnership stand where the two added 49 in nine overs as Taylor got to his 36th ODI career fifty in 67 balls.

Before Taylor could cut-loose, he was held up at short fine leg while trying to paddle scoop Taskin in the 39th over.

Things weren't too bad for the Blackcaps with 200 mark already completed on the scoreboard as Taylor departed on 63.

However, Mosaddek Hossain completely changed the narrative of the entire innings with just a three over spell where he ended up picking three important wickets to restrict New Zealand.

Neil Broom was dismissed on 36 in the 44th over with Corey Anderson scoring a golden duck.

The Blackcaps were heavily relying upon James Neesham to rescue them from the sticky situation but the all-rounder was stumped on 23 by Mushfiqur Rahim in the 46th over.

Little cameos from Mitchell Santner (14 no), Tim Southee (10 no) and Adam Milne, who was dismissed on seven by Mustafizur, helped Blackcaps to set a reasonable yet not too impressive target of 266 runs.

Mosaddek Hossain with three wickets beside his name, was the leading wicket taker for the Tigers as Taskin picked up a couple of big wickets. Rubel and Mustafizur picked up a wicket each.

Southee came out heavily breathing some fire at the Bangladeshi batting line-up as he skittled three wickets in just five overs sending the top three Bangladesh batsmen back into the pavilion.

Tamim Iqbal, who is now the second highest run-scorer of the tournament, was dismissed on a duck on the very second delivery of the innings. He was trapped LBW right in front of middle.

Sabbir Rahman showed signs of extreme intent by hitting Southee for a couple of boundaries in the very same over. However, a cracker from the right-arm pacer in the third over got a nick off Rahman's bat as Ronchi did the rest to dismiss him on eight.

Soumya Sarkar too alike his fellow opening batsman, was trapped LBW while batting on three by Southee.

Soumya Sarkar too alike his fellow opening batsman, was trapped LBW while batting on three by Southee.

Things were looking all but over for Bangladesh after the disastrous start when Mushfiqur Rahim decided to add to his side's woes by getting out on 14 in the 12th over. A thunderbolt from Milne speeding at 146 kph crashed through Rahim's gates.

Mahmudullah then joined Shakib and the rest for those who watched it live, will remain a memory of a life time. The two started taking on the New Zealand attack by posting a quick 50-run partnership stand in just 45 balls to bring up the team's 100 in the 23rd over.

The required run-rate was just above six and 162 runs more needed as the two started playing a bit more responsibly by dealing in singles to bring up the 100-run partnership stand in 104 balls and later the 150-run partnership stand in 189 balls.

With about 83 runs needed from 13 overs, things slowly began to completely come into Bangladesh's control.

Shakib completed his fifth and one of his most iconic ODI hundred in 111 balls with help of nine fours and a six.

Mahmudullah, who wasn't too far from his partner on the other end of the wicket, brought up his third ODI hundred in 107 balls with help of eight boundaries and a couple of sixes.

Trent Boult finally managed to break the partnership stand as Shakib swung and missed in the 47th over but the curtains had already dropped on New Zealand in the game and their fate was all but sealed.

Mosaddek Hossain with an unbeaten seven ensured no further damage occurred as Bangladesh secured a historic win.

Shakib was deservingly awarded the man-of-the-match award for his superb innings.

The Tigers have done all that was possible for them to reach the next stage of this tournament, now all they can hope for is England somehow manages to beat the Aussies and the rain gods stay away from tomorrow's encounter.

© Cricket World 2017