Allrounder Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Najmul Hossain Shanto smashed cracking centuries to help Bangladesh to a solid 334-5 in their must-win Asia Cup match against Afghanistan in Lahore on Sunday.
Miraz hit a 119-ball 112 for his highest One-Day International (ODI) score while Shanto scored a 105-ball 104 as Bangladesh — who won the toss and batted — put up their highest ODI total outside their own country.
The pair lifted their team from the loss of Mohammad Naim (28) and Towhid Hridoy (0) through a third-wicket stand of 194 off 190 balls, punishing Afghanistan’s spinners on a flat Gaddafi stadium pitch.
Bangladesh changed up their tactics after losing their first game to Sri Lanka by five wickets in Pallekele, promoting right-hander Miraz up the order to open the innings.
Miraz justified the decision by striking seven boundaries before he hurt his left hand while hitting a third six and walked off the field. He had scored his second ODI century.
Shanto hit nine boundaries and two sixes before he was run out in the 45th over as Bangladesh piled up 103 runs in the last 10 overs.
Skipper Shakib Al Hasan carried on the good work with an 18-ball 32 not out that was spiced with four boundaries and a six.
Afghanistan’s much-vaunted spin trio failed to stop the flow of runs with only Mujeeb Ur Rahman getting one wicket while Rashid Khan’s wicket-less 10 overs cost 66 runs.
Bangladesh must win this match to keep their hopes of qualifying for the Super Four stage from Group B alive.
Pakistan have already qualified for the Super Fours from Group A by beating Nepal in their first match and then seeing their clash against India abandoned due to rain in Pallekele on Saturday.
The top two teams from each group will qualify for the Super Four stage.