Chattogram, March 29 (IANS) Bangladesh opener Litton Das produced a stunning knock in the rain-shortened second T20I against Ireland here on Wednesday, scoring the fastest fifty by a Bangladesh player in the shortest format.
Das completed his half-century off 18 balls, with the help of five fours and three sixes to break the 16-year-old record of Mohammad Ashraful, who had hit a 20-ball fifty for Bangladesh against West Indies in the inaugural ICC Men's T20 World Cup in South Africa.
The 28-year-old batter came close to breaking the record last year when he made a 21-ball fifty against India in Adelaide in the Men's T20 World Cup.
Put in to bat, Das had a lucky reprieve in the fourth over when George Dockrell shelled a catch in the deep off Mark Adair and conceded a six. Das followed it up with back-to-back boundaries and never looked back from there.
In the next over, he hit Fionn Hand for two fours and a six to edge close to a fifty. He completed the half-century next over off a mere 18 balls.
At the other end, Rony Talukdar (44 off 23) offered Das good company, scoring 44 off 23 balls with two sixes and three boundaries before falling to Benjamin White in the 10th over.
Like with the first T20I, the opening pair once again gave a strong start with an impressive 124-run first-wicket partnership off 56 balls. In the first match, the duo scored 81 runs in the first six overs, their highest powerplay scored in T20Is.
This time around they almost repeated the feat, scoring 73 runs in the first six overs. Eventually, Das got out after his quick-fire 83 off 41 balls, as he nicked a delivery from Benjamin White and was caught by the wicketkeeper.
Then, Shakib Al Hasan (38* of 24) and Towhid Hridoy (24 off 13) helped Bangladesh post a mammoth total of 202 for the loss of three wickets in 17 overs.
Earlier, rainfall in Chattogram led to the proceedings starting late as the match was reduced to 17 overs per side.
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