DUBAI: Senior batsman Mushfiqur Rahim smashed a brilliant career-best hundred to steer Bangladesh to an emphatic 137-run victory over Sri Lanka in the opening Asia Cup match in Dubai on Saturday.
The former captain’s 150-ball 144 with 11 fours and four sixes lifted Bangladesh from a precarious 1-2 in the first over to 261 after they won the toss and batted in the Group B match.
Sri Lanka, who have won five Asia Cup titles, had lost half of their side for 60 in the 17th over before being bowled out for 124 in 35.2 overs, succumbing to their second-worst defeat against Bangladesh in 45 one-day internationals.
Sri Lanka’s worst defeat against Bangladesh was a 163-run loss at Dhaka earlier this year.
Dilruwan Perera (29), Upul Tharanga (27) and Suranga Lakmal (20) were the only batsmen to offer any resistance as Bangladesh bowled superbly from the start.
Mustafizur Rahman, Mehidy Hasan and skipper Mashrafe Mortaza took two wickets apiece.
But it was Rahim who gave a treat to a packed 25,000-capacity stadium, most of them Bengali expats working as labourers.
Rahim added 131 for the third wicket with Mohammad Mithun (63) to lead the recovery after recalled Sri Lankan paceman Lasith Malinga removed Liton Das and Shakib Al Hasan for ducks.
Rahim bettered his previous ODI best of 117 he scored against India at Fatullah four years ago, helping his team to add 63 in the last ten overs.
Mithun hit five fours and two sixes in his 68-ball enterprising knock, his first ODI fifty.
Malinga finished with 4-23 in his first match in 13 months.
Afghanistan are the third team in the group. Pakistan meet qualifiers Hong Kong in Group A, which also features defending champions India.–AFP