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Bowlers give Bangladesh big win over UAE

DHAKA: Bowlers made a combined effort as Bangladesh shrugged off a poor batting display to beat the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by 51 runs in the Asia Cup in Dhaka on Friday.

Mashrafe Mortaza, Mustafizur Rahman, Mahmudullah Riyad and Shakib Al Hasan each grabbed two wickets to help Bangladesh dismiss the UAE for 82 runs after they were restricted to 133-8 by the impressive ICC associate member.

The UAE, who won a place in the regional tournament after an intense qualifying round, put up a similar spirited performance against Sri Lanka in the previous evening before going down by 14 runs.

Defending a modest total, Al-Amin Hossain earned a breakthrough for Bangladesh in only the second over handing opener Mohammad Kaleem a duck, but Rohan Mustafa and Mohammad Shahzad signalled their intent with their courageous batting.

Mortaza (2-12) removed Mustafa for 18 in his first over as a second change bowler and then dismissed Shaiman Anwar in his next over, to bring Bangladesh back into the match.

When Mustafizur Rahman (2-13) dismissed Shahzad and Swapnil Patil in consecutive balls to reduce the UAE to 34-5 the match was as good as over as a contest.

Mahmudullah (2-5) then claimed two wickets to complete an all-round performance and grab the man of the match award.

Shakib Al Hasan completed the rout to finish with 2-20.

Mahmudullah earlier hit an unbeaten 36 off 27 balls to give Bangladesh’s innings some respectability after the UAE threatened to restrict the fancied hosts to an embarrassing score.

“We were looking for 150 on this wicket,” Mortaza said after the match. “Mahmudullah played really sensibly. We needed early wickets and we got it.”

UAE skipper Amjad Javed rued their poor batting.

“We are making a habit of this, bowling out teams for 135, but we’ll go back and look at our batting and come back strong after fixing the batting problem,” he said.

Opener Mohammad Mithun made the highest score of 47 runs for Bangladesh but not before he was dropped by Shahzad off Javed at mid-off on 10.

Mithun and Soumya Sarkar (21) combined 46 runs in six overs in the opening stand to give Bangladesh a good start before the UAE clawed their way back into the contest.

Spinners slowed down the run rate to create some pressure on Bangladesh’s middle order before lower batsmen crumbled.

Arch-rivals India and Pakistan play in the next match of the tournament on Saturday.

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