Mushfiqur Rahim makes maiden World Cup century

The Bangladesh wicketkeeper-batsman kept his team in the hunt briefly with an elegant innings.

Mushfiqur Rahim led Bangladesh's fight with his maiden World Cup century.   -  AFP

Mushfiqur Rahim added a feather to his cap on Thursday, when he made his maiden century of the World Cup in what was eventually a 48-run defeat for Bangladesh against Australia at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.

Playing his fourth World Cup, Rahim briefly kept Bangladesh in the hunt in the chase of 382, but he could only drag his team to its highest ODI total (333) in addition to achieving the personal landmark of becoming the third Bangladeshi cricketer to score a century in the Cricket World Cup. This was his seventh ODI century.

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Mahmudullah and Shakib Al Hasan have been the two other Bangladeshis to have hundreds in the quadrennial tournament: the former struck back-to-back centuries in the 2015 edition (against England and New Zealand), while Shakib has centuries against England and the West Indies in the ongoing World Cup in the United Kingdom.

Rahim batted at a steady pace, scoring at a run-a-ball for a majority of his innings, which, however, wasn't enough with Bangladesh way behind the eight-ball going into the final 20 overs. He shared a 127-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Mahmudullah, who himself made a 50-ball 69 and whose dismissal brought an end to Bangladesh's hopes of overhauling a record total in the history of the World Cup. Mushfiqur finished with 102 off 97 balls, nine fours and a six punctuating his innings.

Australia, with the win, move to the summit of the points table, while Bangladesh, with two wins from six matches, has an outside chance of finishing in the top four, though it must now win its three remaining matches against Afghanistan, India and Pakistan.