Feb 19, 2015: Bangladesh kick off their World Cup campaign with a brilliant 105-run victory against Afghanistan.
Amid the cheers from the crowd, Bangladesh skipper Masrafe Mortaza won the toss and Bangladesh went into bat on a placid pitch that offered true bounce. Bangladesh started their innings slow because Afghan bowlers bowled with a lot of heart and discipline.
In middle order Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim helped them post a competitive 267 on the board. With Wednesday’s win – Bangladesh’s biggest in the World Cup matches – the Tigers retaliated last year’s Asia Cup crush on the home turf.
The Afghanistan openers Ahmadi and Zazai took the field with a rousing reception from the Afghan fans, but it did not last long. Skipper Masrafe picked up Ahmadi caught and bowled in the first over, and Rubel trapped Zazai off his first ball of the match. The frenzy was not over after Masrafe came back in the third over to pick up A Stanikzai caught at first slip by Mahmudullah. Afghanistan all of a sudden found themselves at 3/3 after 3 overs.
The Afghans fell behind the asking rate as Bangladesh struck timely blows and their innings folded up for 162 with 7.1 overs to spare.
Earlier, Bangladesh became all out 267 in 50 overs, thanks to luminous knocks by Mushfiq (71) and Shakib (63).
Shakib became the first Bangladeshi to reach 4000 ODI runs and leading the pack in the ODI run-scorers for Bangladesh.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Mushfiq, the Man of the Match, after the match.
“Credit also goes to the openers. They didn’t get the runs, but it is not that easy up front. They faced out important overs.”
Captain Mashrafe said, â€œDefinitely the first match is important and we have set the tone.
“We had a reasonable start today. Mushy and Shakib were brilliant. In a match where you have some pressure. I am happy we adapted. And thank you all the supporters.”
Bangladesh will play next match with hosts and tournament favorites Australia at GABBA.
By: Rifat Rahn