Mahmudullah, Shakib help Bangladesh to 181-7 against PNG

Muscat (AFP) – Attacking knocks from skipper Mahmudullah Riyad and Shakib Al Hasan helped Bangladesh to 181 for seven against Papua New Guinea in a key Twenty20 World Cup clash on Thursday.

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Shakib smashed 46 and Mahmudullah hit 50 off 28 balls in Muscat after Bangladesh elected to bat first in their bid to enter the Super 12 stage.

Afif Hossain's quickfire 21 and an unbeaten 19 off 6 balls from Mohammad Saifuddin, who finished the innings with two sixes and a four, fired Bangladesh to the highest total of the tournament so far.

They lost Mohammad Naim for nought on the second ball of the innings and the wickets of Liton Das, for 29, and Mushfiqur Rahim, for five, as they slipped to 72-3.

The left-handed Shakib, who starred with bat and ball in the team's previous win over Oman, hit back in baking hot conditions with three sixes in his 47-ball knock.

But an attempted fourth big hit got him caught at long-on off skipper Assad Vala, who returned figures of 2-26 with his off-spin bowling.

Mahmudullah kept up the charge and raced to his 50 with three six and three fours in 27 balls.

He then departed in controversial circumstances as he was caught by Chad Soper at deep square leg off what appeared to be a waist-high no ball from Damien Ravu.

Third umpire Chris Gaffaney initially gave the Bangladesh captain not out before changing his decision on the big screen.

Bangladesh will go through to the next round if they win and Scotland beat Oman in the day's second match. A loss, though, would then bring it down to net rate.