Bangladesh have kept their hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy alive after they defeated New Zealand by five wickets at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on Friday.
The win was made possible by a quite superb 224-run stand in just 209 deliveries, the highest-ever partnership for Bangladesh in ODI cricket, between Shakib Al Hasan (114 off 115 balls) and Mahmudullah (102* off 107 balls). What made the alliance between the two even more special was that they came together with the score reading 33-4.
Chasing 266, Bangladesh had got off to an awful start as New Zealand pacer Tim Southee reduced the Asian side to 12-3 before Adam Milne took the wicket of Mushfiqur Rahim (14 off 34 balls).
It looked like Bangladesh were on the brink of exiting the tournament, but Shakib and Mahmudullah had other plans as both batsmen struck magnificent centuries.
In the end, Bangladesh got home comfortably with 16 balls remaining in their innings.
Earlier, a good bowling display from Bangladesh restricted the Kiwis to 265-8 in their 50 overs.
While Martin Guptill (33 off 35 balls) got New Zealand off to a good start, it was the 83-run partnership between Kane Williamson (57 off 69 balls) and Ross Taylor (63 off 82 balls) that looked to have given them a good platform.
Williamson was on his way to another big score but a misunderstanding with Taylor saw him run-out in the 30th over.
Taylor and Neil Broom (36 off 40 balls) then put on a steady partnership together before Mosaddek Hossain came on to bowl and registered career-best ODI bowling figures of 3-13 to peg back the Kiwis.
While England have qualified from Group A as the first-placed team, Bangladesh now find themselves second with three points. This win doesn’t guarantee Mashrafe Mortaza’s side a semi-final spot yet though, as a win for Australia on Saturday will see the Aussies through to the final four.
On the other hand, New Zealand have been knocked out of the tournament, with just one point from their three matches.
New Zealand 265-8, 50 overs [Taylor 63, Williamson 57, Mosaddek 3-13] lost to Bangladesh 268-5, 47.2 overs [Shakib 114, Mahmudullah 102*, Southee 3-45] by five wickets.
Player of the Match – Shakib Al Hasan.