The right-handed batsman, who scored only 36 runs in his previous three ODI appearances, struck five fours and two sixes to score 63 runs off 68 balls that shifted the momentum towards the Tigers
Bangladesh batsman Mohammad Mithun was very content as he played a crucial role in their winning start of the ACC Asia Cup 2018 against Sri Lanka on Saturday. The right-handed batsman scored an important half-century and formed a pivotal hundred-plus partnership with centurion Mushfiqur Rahim to salvage their side from an early wreck.
The Tigers were in all sorts of trouble as they lost two wickets in the opening over before Tamim Iqbal was forced to retire hurt with an injury that saw Mithun joining Mushfiqur in the third over with only three runs on the board.
But the 27-year old right-handed batsman not only recovered the side from that disaster but also started a counter-attack that gave the experienced Mushfiqur assurance and time to navigate the innings.
The right-handed batsman, who scored only 36 runs in his previous three ODI appearances, struck five fours and two sixes to score 63 runs off 68 balls that shifted the momentum towards the Tigers. More importantly, he made a vital 131-run stand with Mushfiqur to pave the way towards a defendable total before he was caught behind while trying a heave-off a Lasith Malinga delivery.
Later on, Mushfiq’s belligerent 144-runs helped Bangladesh reach 261, a score that proved more than adequate as Bangladesh bundled out Sri Lanka for just 124, and Mithun was content to play his best ODI innings till date.
“That innings was my best in international cricket. I had never done anything before that for the team so I was never part of any discussion. I feel happy to have been able to contribute for the team,” said Mithun to the media at the team hotel in Dubai on Monday.
With opener Tamim Iqbal getting ruled out from the tournament over a fractured left wrist, Mithun is now one of the contenders to open the innings with right-handed wicket-keeper batsman Liton Das. Left-handed batsman Nazmul Hasan Shanto is also a strong contender for the spot.
Mithun, who normally bats in the middle order, was not thinking about his batting position as he was focusing on contributing for the side and was prepared to bat at any position. However, the team management did not come to a decision regarding the opening slot till Monday.
“I had to bat early because of the situation. But the batting order we have, a batsman at number five has to wait around 30 overs to get to bat. Our top order batsmen have been consistent in pulling up partnerships. We have Tamim bhai, Shakib bhai, Mushfiq bhai batting at the top. But there might be occasions when there is a debacle like in the last game.”
Mithun also informed that following the comprehensive win in the tournament opener, the Tigers are floating with confidence as they are preparing for their second match in the tournament against Afghanistan that will be staged on Thursday. Mithun believed the win, one of the finest comebacks in Bangladesh history, inspired every member of the dressing room and they are pumped up to continue their winning run to achieve even bigger feats.