A special knock gets Miraz his maiden ton
It was at the lowest point of Bangladesh's innings, with the Tigers tottering at six for 69 in the 19th over that Mehedi Hasan Miraz – saviour of the first ODI against India -- came to the crease.
If his character had shone through in that previous knock where he pulled off an unlikely chase with just Mustafizur Rahman as his partner, this time around his batsmanship was in full view during a magnificent maiden ton in the second ODI at Mirpur today.
Together with Riyad, he brought Bangladesh back from despair into belief with a smashing 83-ball unbeaten 100, hitting some extraordinary shots on the way. The 148-run partnership between him and Riyad is Bangladesh's second-highest seventh-wicket stand, just behind the 174-run unbeaten stand between Afif Hossain and Miraz earlier this year against Afghanistan. Miraz also became only the second batter to come at number eight and score a ton in ODIs.
India had 23 deliveries left when Mahmudullah departed after a 96-ball 77 and would have liked to restrict Bangladesh under 250. Miraz however was brimming with confidence at the death overs as he found three fours off Umran Malik in the 49th over of the innings. The last of those boundaries was something special. Miraz looked for the scoop over fine-leg and went across to his off stump but found the ball pitch outside off stump. He quickly adjusted his shot to lift it through the third-man region for a boundary. The confidence was evident when Miraz had come to the crease but in the death overs, he fully capitalized as Bangladesh picked up 68 runs in the last five.
Eight fours and four sixes powered his innings during that unbeaten ton as Bangladesh finished on 271 for 7, losing no other wicket after Riyad's dismissal. If Miraz's innings in the first game had been one where he absorbed pressure, the late surge saw him reach a new level.
His mentor Sohel Islam had told The Daily Star after the first ODI that Miraz had always been viewed as a proper all-rounder during his youth cricketing days and knocks like today punctuate that feeling like no other.
Indian cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle said that these two games could prove to be career changing games for Miraz.
"69-6 to 271-7 is a special effort. These could be two career changing games for Mehidy Hasan Miraz," he tweeted.