The talented 25-year-old left-handed Bangladeshi batsman, Najmul Shanto, continued to impress with his batting during the Asia Cup 2023, securing his second ODI century. This remarkable achievement took place on a Sunday when Bangladesh faced Afghanistan in Lahore.

In the prior match against Sri Lanka in Pallekele, Najmul Shanto had been Bangladesh’s top scorer, accumulating 89 runs in a match where Bangladesh could only muster a total of 164 runs. Unfortunately, Bangladesh lost that game by 5 wickets. Consequently, the encounter against Afghanistan was a must-win situation for Bangladesh to keep their hopes alive for advancing to the Super 4 round.

In this crucial match against Afghanistan’s formidable bowling attack, Najmul Shanto exhibited exceptional skills, forming a sensational partnership of 194* runs off 190 balls with Mehidy Hasan Miraz, which boosted Bangladesh’s score to 334.

Najmul Shanto played a pivotal role in this outstanding performance, contributing 104 runs from 105 balls, including 9 boundaries and 2 sixes. Meanwhile, Mehidy Hasan Miraz scored an impressive 112 runs from 119 balls before retiring hurt due to severe cramps. Their partnership was forged after Bangladesh had lost two wickets with only 63 runs on the board. They demonstrated equal proficiency in handling Afghanistan’s spinners and pacers. Even the usually formidable Rashid Khan had an off day, conceding 66 runs in his 10 overs without taking any wickets.

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Najmul Shanto achieved his century, only his second in 28 ODI innings, during the 43rd over, bowled by Mujeeb Ur Rahman. The left-hander nudged a full delivery on the leg-side and seized a single due to a misfield at short mid-wicket, completing his well-deserved century.

In his jubilant celebration, Shanto first removed his bat and helmet, raising his arms to acknowledge the dressing room. He then celebrated with the ‘Baby’ gesture, dedicating this century to his recently born son.