Chasing 268 to win, Afghanistan were rocked early with three quick wickets within the first three overs of their innings. They were 3/3 and the match were almost over at that point. The Bangladeshi bowlers gave nothing away and pushed Afghanistan batsmen under huge pressure. Though, Nawroz Mangal and Samiullah Shenwari put up some fight with a 62-run partnership for the fourth wicket. But in the context of the match, that did not have any effect on the outcome of the game, as the pair used 118 balls to score those 62 runs. Towards the fag end of the game, Mohammad Nabi, the Afghan skipper played some shots and made a 43-ball 44. Live Blog: Bangladesh vs Afghanistan
This Bangladesh team has come into the tournament with a lot of potential. The current team is probably the best Bangladeshi team to play the World Cup. Apart from having a settled batting line-up, this team is carrying some hugely talented young quick bowlers. Taskin Ahmed, Rubel Hossain, Al-Amin Hossain are few of them. Al-Amin missed out on this game, but Taskin and Rubel made full use of their opportunities along with experienced Mashrafe Mortaza. The trio got five out of the eight wickets which went to the bowlers. Amongst spinners, Shakib-al-Hasan took two and Mahmudullah got one Afghan wicket. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: SCHEDULE & MATCH DETAILS
Earlier, Mashrafe, the Bangladesh skipper won an important toss and did not hesitate to bat first. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon at Manuka Oval in Canberra and this Asian derby produced a full house at the venue. This day was also very special for Afghanistan cricket, as the war-trodden nation became the latest team to play in the World Cup. ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: POINTS TABLE
The pitch at the Manuka Oval was batting friendly. But the Afghan opening bowlers Shapoor Zadran, Hamid Hassan extracted some serious bounce out of the pitch. The Bangladesh openers Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque took their time initially. After 10 overs Bangladesh scored only 38 runs.
It was the medium pacer Mirwais Ashraf who got the wickets of both openers. At 52 for two, young Soumya Sarkar, who was playing his second ODI only, took control of the innings along with Mahmudullah. For the third wicket, both formed half-century partnership. Bangladesh was looking good at that time.
The game again swung in favour of Afghanistan when Shapoor took two wickets in his second spell. Both Sarkar and Mahmudullah got out to the lanky left-arm pacer. From 102 for two, Bangladesh were suddenly restricted to 119 for four. One more wicket at that time may have helped Afghanistan to restrict the Bangladeshi boys under 200. What an achievement it would have been for the Afghans!
But thankfully for Bangladesh, that did not happen. From that alarming situation, two stalwarts of Bangladesh batting, Shakib and Mushfiqur Rahim got together and use their experience to good effect. The right-left combination also helped. The partnership scored valuable 108 runs and its because of that particular partnership Bangladesh went past 250.
Afghanistan bowled really well at the death overs. Especially Hamid and Aftab Alam bowled some excellent yorkers. Because of their spirited bowling efforts, Bangladesh failed to go past 275-run mark, which was looking very much possible at one point of time.
Bangladesh 267 in 50 overs (Mushfiqur Rahim 71, Shakib Al Hasan 63 ; Shapoor Zadran 2 for 20, Mirwais Ashraf 2 for 32) beat Afghanistan 162 in 42.5 overs (Samiullah Shenwari 42, Mohammad Nabi 44 ; Mashrafe Mortaza 3 for 20) by 105 runs.
(Sandipan Banerjee is a reporter at CricketCountry. Cricket has been the biggest passion for him since his childhood. So, when it came to choosing his career, he chose to turn his passion into his profession. Apart from cricket he likes mountain trekking, river rafting, and photography. His twitter handle is @im_sandipan)
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