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Mushfiqur Rahim narrowly missed out on his second hundred of the Asia Cup 2018, but still rated the 99 against Pakistan in the final Super Four game as among his top five innings, insisting the win mattered more than a milestone.

Rahim, who had made 144 in Bangladesh’s opening game, made another valuable contribution on Wednesday, 27 September in the virtual semi-final against Pakistan. His innings and 144-run fourth-wicket partnership with Mohammad Mithun rescued his side from a precarious 12/3.

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Bangladesh got to 239, and with Mustafizur Rahman and Mehidy Hasan picking up six wickets between them, the opposition were kept to 202/9, sealing a 37-run win and a place in the final.

“To be honest, after winning, I am not hurting anymore,” Rahim told presspersons at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi after becoming the first Bangladesh batsman to fall on 99 in one-day internationals. “If I scored a century, and we scored 260 but lost the match, I wouldn’t have felt good. This is not just lip service, but comes from my heart.”

Rahim said he had been more upset at not seeing out the innings and giving his team a good finish. “My disappointment [at getting out] was heightened because, as I kept saying after going into the dressing room, as a set batsman I should have batted at least until the 48th over.

If I scored a century, and we scored 260 but lost the match, I wouldn’t have felt good.

“With the bowling quality they have even at the death, it is not easy to hit when you are new to the crease. We barely scored 100 runs in the last 20 overs.”

That the win came in a high-stakes match and without their big guns Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal, who were out injured, made it more special, he agreed.

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