Mahmudullah finds form again
Mahmudullah returned back to form in the 2nd ODI against South Africa playing a good hand in the record 135-run stand with Soumya Sarkar for the third wicket.
He registered a fifty on July 12 coming back from the finger injury after a poor run in the three ODIs against Pakistan in April 2015.
The reliable middle-order batsman experienced a surprising dip in form in the Pakistan series after a fabulous World Cup, averaging less than nine runs in three outings.
A first ball duck in the first ODI against South Africa did not help things either, as Mahmudullah was caught in front of the stumps to Kagiso Rabada to complete the debutant's hat-trick.
Mahmudullah came into bat in the series leveling-win against the Proteas at a precarious position when Tigers had lost Tamim Iqbal and Litton Das to the red-hot Rabada after 24 runs on the board.
With Soumya going all guns blazing with forceful pulls and flashing drives, Mahmudullah brought his experience and calm demeanor into play.
He was quick to read the situation and made full use of his compact defence, while waiting for the bad ball to arrive.
As the required run-rate was never a concern, Mahmudullah kept the good balls out while keeping the runs coming with singles and twos.
When the Proteas bowlers bowled too full or too short, Mahmudullah took full advantage as his partnership with Soumya removed all the early jitters for good.
With 121 ODI matches under his belt, Mahmudullah held back himself and did not get carried away by Soumya-show at the other end.
Mahmudullah played risk-free strokes and never looked like trying to hit the ball too hard, applying his gift of timing while piercing the gaps.
When he pulled a short ball from Kyle Abbot to backward square leg for a four, the home crowd at Mirpur acknowledged his fifty with euphoric applause, perhaps because he and his partner were taking Tigers home.
Unfortunately for Mahmudullah, he fell at the cusp of victory, when he flicked the next ball from Abbott to Hashim Amla at short midwicket.
His timely innings of 50 runs came from 64 balls, with six fours to the delight of the Bangladeshi supporters.
Mahmudullah may have been disappointed to fall just four runs short of the target, but would be definitely glad to find some form with one ODI and two Test matches still to go in South Africa's tour of Bangladesh.