Mushfiqur Rahim's quickfire knock helps Bangladesh pip Afghanistan
Mushfiqur Rahim's quickfire 71 from just 56 balls helped Bangladesh beat Afghanistan by 105 runs in their World Cup 2015 Pool A match played at the Manuka Oval, Canberra on Wednesday.
Bangladesh's captain Mashrafe Mortaza won the toss and chose to bat first on a placid surface. His side was off to a cautious start and, openers Anamul Haque and Tamim Iqbal, looked to play out the first ten overs without losing any wickets.
The duo was successful and kept their wickets intact. They managed just 38 runs in the first ten overs. Iqbal was the first to fall in the 15th over for 19. Haque followed him two-overs later.
Their batsmen were determined not to hand the Afghan bowlers the advantage by losing more wickets. They etched past 100 in the 25th over of the match. Bangladesh negotiated the first half of the innings with eight wickets intact. The cautious approach set the platform for a late onslaught and that came from the experienced Rahim and Shakib ul Hasan.
The duo plundered 114 runs for the fifth wicket at the rate of 7.35 per over. Rahim was the aggressor throughout the partnership and clobbered six fours and one six. Shakib hit the same number of boundaries in his 63-run innings.
The partnership lasted from the 30th to the 45th over and took Bangladesh to a respectable 233, before it was finally broken. The lower order added just 34 runs and helped their side post 267 in their 50 overs.
Afghanistan was off to a poor start and they were reduced to three for three in the first four overs. The early collapse proved too costly for the inexperienced Afghan batsmen and they managed just 162 in reply.
"It's a great feeling. Credit also goes to openers. They didn't get the runs, but it is not that easy up front. They faced out important overs. Thanks to the crowd. My father is here, my uncle is here, it is a great moment," Rahim said after winning the Man-of-the-Match award.