Mirpur, April 11: A defiant 81 off 80 balls from Mushfiqur Rahim not only saved his side the blushes in the second one-dayer against Australia, but also ensured that the hosts post a respectable total 229/7. Bangladesh were a dismal 65/4 in 20.5 overs when Rahim came to the crease. He strung together stands with the few remaining batsman, including a 79-run partnership with Mahmudulla. Australia's bowling was generally effective with Mitchell Johnson picking up 3/54 and Steven Smith taking 2 for 34.
Winning the toss and opting to bat first, Bangladesh got off to a poor start. In just the second over, Tamim Iqbal struck Mitchell Johnson for a four to be brilliantly caught by Shane Watson at slip in the next ball. He was on his way back for 5 off 7 balls and Bangladesh were 9/1 in 1.4 overs.
With Imrul Kayes and Shahriar Nafees at the crease, the runs were only trickling. Then a wicket came each in the 11th and 12th over with Johnson ensnaring Kayes for 5 (off 41 balls!) and Hasting cleaning up Raqibul Hasan for a duck. Bangaldesh had slumped to 28/3 in 11.4 overs.
The new batsman Shakib Al Hasan, tried to up the dismal run-rate by striking 3 fours along Nafees in the next three overs before the latter hit another boundary to take the hosts past 50 in the 19th over.
But Shakib's brief attempt at salvaging the innings came to an end when he was bowled by leg-spinner Steven Smith for 9 off 23 balls. Bangladesh were deeper in trouble at 65/4 in 20.5 overs. Five overs later, Smith struck again to remove Nafees for a fighting 56 off 73 balls with the score now reading 88/5 in 27 overs.
Then Mahmudulla and Musfiqur Rahim took their side to 100/5 in 30 overs after which the runs and boundaries came more frequently. In the next ten overs, the duo had taken Bangladesh to past 150/5 and pressed on. Then Watson trapped Mahmudullah in front for a brave 38 as the hosts slid to 167/5 in 43.2 overs.
But Mushfiqur Rahim kept the innings going and together with Suhrawadi Shuvo, knocked three fours off Watson in the 46th over. After thye latter batsman was out for 16, Rahim reached his 50 and unleashed a flurry of shots to the boundary and over it to take Bangladesh to a respectable 226/7 in overs.