Mehrab comes of age (26 March 1999)

26 March 1999

Mehrab comes of age

Our Sports Reporter

Mehrab Hossain has finally come of age to become the first Bangladeshi batsman to score a century in one-day cricket yesterday.

Playing in only his fifth match, the 22-year-old opener hit a sparkling 101 in an eventful match against Zimbabwe. The right-hander laced his elusive hundred with nine fours and two sweetly timed sixes.

Mehrab, who made his debut in a triangular series against India at Mohali last year, reached the magical three-figure mark with a single, pushing Guy Whittall down to the third man. His previous best was 73, also against Zimbabwe in the ongoing tourney.

Mehrab, who featured in a record opening partnership of 171 with Shahriar Hossain, stayed at the crease for 161 minutes and played 115 balls.

His opening partner, who chipped in with 68, held the previous highest individual score of 95, made against Kenya in the second match of the tournament.

The previous best opening stand of 137 was shared by veteran Athar Ali Khan and Mohammad Rafique against Kenya during the Coca-Cola triangular tournament in Hyderabad last May. Bangladesh however recorded their lone one-day victory n that match.

The promising Mehrab, who reached his 50 off 43 deliveries and with the help of seven boundaries, eventually perished in the 43rd over while trying to loft leggie Adam Huckle over the top, leaving Bangladesh at 212 for 2.

Incidentally, Mehrab's uncle - Azhar Hossain, who was also an opener, hit the first one-day half-century for Bangladesh against New Zealand in the Sharjah Australasia Cup way back in 1990.

One-down Akram Khan also achieved a personal milestone when the burly Chittagonian smashed his successive half-century in the meet to become the highest half-century maker for the country, eclipsing former opener Athar's three, scored in 19 matches.

Akram, who scored 65 in the previous match against Kenya on March 24, is also the highest aggregate run-getter for Bangladesh. With his unbeaten 50, the fourth in his 26-match career, the former national captain took his tally to 618 runs.

Skipper Aminul Islam stood next to Akram with 566 runs in 26 matches.

Source :: The Bangladesh Daily Star (http://www.dailystarnews.com)

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