Mehidy Hasan Miraz showcased a batting masterclass to guide Bangladesh to a thrilling one-wicket win over India during the opening match of the three-match one-day international series at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Sunday.
Mehidy, who came in the middle when Bangladesh were left struggling at 128-6 while chasing 187 runs, struck an unbeaten 38 off 39 balls and shared an unbroken 51-run stand with Mustafizur Rahman (10 not out) in the last wicket to complete a stunning victory over the visitors.
Stand-in skipper Liton Das then struck 41 runs while Shakib made 29 runs as Bangladesh found them at 128-4 with experienced Mahmudullah (14) and Mushfiqur Rahim (18) were both set at the crease.
However, India made a strong comeback in the game as Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Siraj gave their side double breakthroughs by removing both batsmen in consecutive deliveries.
Bangladesh then lost their next three wickets for just eight runs and were reduced to 136-9 in the 40th over and Mehidy was the only recognized batter at the crease for the Tigers if they wanted him to do something miraculous in the game.
Mehidy, who was on 12 when he was dropped by KL Rahul, played some exciting shots during the first half of his innings that gave him confidence and later he took the job mostly on his shoulder to guide the hosts to 187-9 in 46 overs and helped his side go 1-0 up in the series.
Earlier, Mehidy gave Bangladesh the first breakthrough in the game as he removed Shikhar Dhawan (seven) in the sixth over before Shakib dismissed Rohit Sharma (27) and Virat Kohli (nine) in space of three deliveries.
Rahul then struck a superb 73 off 70 balls – his 11th ODI fifty – and despite the fall of wickets from the other hand, he remained firm at the crease and took India close to a 200-run total.
Bangladesh lost opener Najmul Hossain Shanto (0) in the first ball of their chase before Anamul Haque Bijoy (14) became Siraj’s first dismissal in the innings. Siraj went on to finish with 3-32.
Liton and Shakib then added 48 runs for the third-wicket stand before the former was dismissed by Washington Sundar that broke the dangerous-looking stand.
Washington (2-17) then removed Shakib that brought Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur pairing up and they put up 33 runs for the fifth wicket before the double strike by the Indian bowlers.
Although at one stage, it looked like Bangladesh had conceded the game but Mehidy’s batting heroics propelled the Tigers to a nail-biting win at the end.
Mehidy was named player of the match. The second ODI will be held at the same venue on Wednesday.