Mushy’s calm prevails in the storm
"Luckily we won two games and we're happy we won the series. We haven't played the perfect game yet, hoping we can in the third game. We lost a lot of wickets and 200 was looking difficult at one point, Mushy's innings was really good, Riyad chipped in as well."
Tamim Iqbal, Bangladesh captain
With a cyclone hovering over the Bay of Bengal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Bangladesh's most experienced batsman in ODIs with the greatest number of matches under his belt, battled and steered his team through a very different kind of storm, finding the calm and assurance that Bangladesh most needed from his bat. Mushfiqur's 127-ball 125, while running out of partners, accounted for more than half the team's runs and helped the Tigers post a challenging 246 after electing to bat first.
There was fear and trepidation at the beginning of the hosts being bundled out for a below-par total, with Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan departing to two searing deliveries by Dushmantha Chameera in just the second over.
Having contended with Chameera's early pace and movement thereafter, Bangladesh then fell prey to Lakshan Sandakan, who removed Liton Das and Mosaddek Hossain as the Tigers slumped to 74 for four.
Just like in the first ODI, Mushfiqur found a partner in Mahmudullah to string together an 87-run partnership for the fifth wicket.
The most notable aspect of his knock was how Mushfiqur paced his innings, resorting to normalcy and hitting just one four on his way to a 70-ball fifty.
But he was running out of partners after Mahmudullah departed for 41 and Afif Hossain and Mehedi Hasan Miraz also walked back.
He built his knock on singles, while picking up the odd boundaries.
With rain twice interrupting his path to an eighth ODI ton, Mushfiqur brought up the landmark with just his sixth four of the innings. He brought invention too late on while running out of partners, ending his vital innings with ten fours before being the final wicket to fall.
His knock of 125 was the second time that he has scored fifty percent or more of the team's runs in an all-out innings. The other instance was also vs Sri Lanka. It was also the highest individual score by a Bangladesh batsman against Sri Lanka in Bangladesh, with Shakib's unbeaten 92 at Mirpur in 2009 being the previous best.
The wicketkeeper-batsman's knock of 84 in the first ODI had been crucial to the cause but the 125 in the second went a long way into showing his significance in the batting line-up while marking his sense of competence and consistency.
Having resorted to ill-conceived reverse-sweeps in recent innings before the Sri Lanka series, Mushfiqur perhaps was able to track down the problem areas and in the process became the most significant pillar behind Bangladesh's success in this series.
The knock and the way he committed also came at a good time for Bangladesh cricket, with the Tigers perhaps being low on confidence ahead of the series after recent dismal results away from home that saw them enter the series on the back of 10 straight losses.