A brilliant 128-run partnership between Mahmudullah and Imrul Kayes has lifted Bangladesh to 249 after another batting collapse against Afghanistan in their second Super Four match of the Asia Cup. Mahmudullah hit three boundaries and two sixes for his 74 off 81 before being caught by Rashid Khan off Aftab Alam in the 47th over in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. Kayes, who was flown to Abu Dhabi after the batting failure against India in the first Super Four match on Friday, hit six fours in his unbeaten 72 off 89.
Bangladeshs batting was unravelling again as they kept losing quick wickets early. The Tigers hit only one boundary and lost two wickets in the powerplay after deciding to bat first.
Shakib Al Hasan, who had come in at No 5 to negate Rashids threat, was run out on just his second ball for a duck.
He flicked it on to midwicket, called but Mushfiqur Rahim asked him to go back as there was no run. Shakib slipped as he looked to turn and Samiullah Shenwaris direct hit caught him short.
An over later, Bangladesh suffered a double blow when Mushfiqur (33) went for a suicidal single. Kayes worked the ball in front of square leg and Mushfiqur called for the run.
Mushfiqur was halfway down the track when Kayes sent him back. When Rashid took the bails off from Mohammad Nabis throw, the batsman was not even in the frame.
The Tigers had lost two early wickets again to put the middle order under pressure.
Opener Nazmul Hossain Shanto (6) and one-down Mohammad Mithun (1) were out in the fifth and sixth over respectively.
Liton Das (41) and Mushfiqur attempted to rebuild the innings with a 63-run stand, but youngster Rashid had Liton in the 19th over when the opener looked to sweep, but his top-edge flew to the slip.
The poor back-to-back performances have brought Bangladesh to the edge of an exit from the tournament.
Bangladesh have also debuted spinner Nazmul Islam Apu.
Kayes played his last One-Day International during the South Africa tour in October last year. He was recalled following consecutive failures of injured Tamim Iqbals replacements.