Tigers hunt 100th win, series

Atif Azam

Bangladesh will look to earn their 100-th win in one-day internationals when they take on Afghanistan in the second ODI of the three-match series at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium today.
Tigers are leading the series by 1-0 after winning the opening game by seven runs against the visitors on the back of a superb comeback by their bowlers.
A win will not only guarantee the series win for Bangladesh but that will also ensure their sixth consecutive series win.
Bangladesh started their winning journey by beating Zimbabwe 5-0 at home back in November 2014 before they beat three powerhouses Pakistan, India and South Africa by 3-0, 2-1 and 2-1 respectively in April, June and July in 2015 at home.
They beat Zimbabwe 3-0 at home in November 2015 to pick their fifth consecutive series victory.
Last time Tigers lost a series was in West Indies back in August 2014 and lost a home series last time in June 2014 against India.
Mashrafee bin Murtaza, Tigers’ most successful skipper across all formats, was relishing the milestone.
‘Naturally it will be a big achievement [100 ODI win],’ Mashrafee told reporters ahead of the second match. ‘We will try to do it in the second game and to do that we need to play good cricket,’ he said.
The inability of Bangladesh’s batsmen to translate their innings into big ones prevented them from posting a 300-plus score on a placid batting wicket where the ball was coming into bat nicely till the very end of the match.
Bowlers lacked penetration and were given a run for their money as Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi put on 144-run third-wicket stand to put Afghanistan in a comfortable position.
Tigers played an ODI after almost an 11-month gap and the lack of match practice was evident in their lackluster fielding that cost them a few catches and extra runs.
Mashrafee praised his men for holding their nerves to pull off a victory from a difficult position but he urged them to remain more cautious from the beginning of the match today.
‘I think it [comeback] shows our character,’ said Mashrafee.
‘Perhaps our body language was not on the right position and that is why we were finding it difficult.
‘It can happen in the first game but we will certainly do better from our second match,’ he said.
Afghanistan coach Lal Chand Rajput said that his side was taking heart from the fact that they had given some hard time to the hosts who always remained as a dominant force at their own backyard.
‘We were unable to handle the pressure but surely we will do better with each passing days,’ he said.

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