<
>
Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Shakib, Mortaza spoil Afghanistan's debut

Bangladesh 267 (Mushfiqur 71, Shakib 63, Shapoor 2-20) beat Afghanistan 162 (Nabi 44, Mashrafe 3-20) by 105 runs
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Afghanistan's World Cup debut was the story of the day in Canberra but Mashrafe Mortaza's Bangladesh won by 105 runs to assuage worries of an early meltdown at the hands of the newcomers.

Bangladesh stuttered to 267 all out and only reached that score through a 15-over blaze from Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim. Then it was turn of Mashrafe to sink Afghanistan to 3-3 in the third over. Recovery took Afghanistan a long time, long enough to push the asking rate well out of reach. Afghanistan were eventually bowled out for 162 but would have taken plenty of positives from their first outing.

Those, though, would be restricted to their bowling effort. Their 268-run chase didn't go to plan. Mashrafe removed Javed Ahmadi at the end of the first over, the batsman's attempt to work the ball into the legside causing him to pop a simple return catch off the leading edge. The other opener, Afsar Zazai, fell next ball, trapped leg-before. It became 3 for 3 when Asghar Stanikzai edged Mashrafe to first slip where Mahmudullah grabbed it after a bit of a fumble.

Samiullah Shenwari, who had been removed from the bowling attack after seven balls for transgressing into the danger area twice, led the recovery with the bat. He struck the team's first boundary, a crash through the covers off Mortaza. Nawroz Mangal helped him pull the team out of trouble, adding 62 for the fourth wicket. The required rate, though, was on the rise and the pressure led to the wicket of Mangal, who holed out at deep square-leg. Rubel took the catch but hurt his leg in the tumble. Shenwari was then run out in the 26th over when Sabbir's pick-up and throw from the leg-side boundary found him some way short of the crease.

Mohammad Nabi and Najibullah Zadran added 58 runs for the sixth wicket before Najubullah fell leg-before to Shakib in the 37th over. Mashrafe then picked up his third wicket, dismissing Nabi for 44 off 43. From seven down, the Afghanistan tail struck a few blows before the innings came to an end in the 43rd over.

It was apt that the first Afghanistan player known to the wider world, Hamid Hassan, bowled his country's first delivery in the World Cup. Hassan, decked with warrior-like face-paint, and Shapoor Zadran kept the Bangladesh openers quiet for 14 overs, before Mirwais Ashraf picked up both Tamim Iqbal and Anamul Haque in the space of two overs. The opening pair batted circumspectly and did well to avoid giving away early wickets.

Tamim, though, grew restless, and went hard at Ashraf, surviving a caught-behind appeal when he appeared to edge the ball and a close run-out after a mix-up with Anamul. The latter took his own time until Ashraf trapped him leg-before with a superb inducker.

Ashraf bowled a superb first spell, and Bangladesh were under his spell until Soumya Sarkar hammered 15 off his ninth over to spoil his figures. He had given away only 17 from his first eight overs. Soumya and Mahmudullah added 50 patient runs for the third wicket before the pair fell in Shapoor's second spell.

The fourth wicket, at the start of the 30th over, brought together Mushfiqur and Shakib at a crucial stage, when more wickets could have left them vulnerable to the sort of collapse that haunted them in 2014. The team's most successful batting partnership took control almost instantly, picking up singles and doubles regularly before plundering 48 runs in the batting Powerplay. The pair moved to their respective fifties and had begun launching into the Afghanistan attack when Shakib fell in the 45th over, having made 63 off 51 balls, with six fours and a pulled six over deep square-leg. The fifth-wicket pair had added 114 runs in 15.3 overs.

Bangladesh immediately lost their way, as Sabbir Rahman struggled through his 2.1-over stay, keeping Mushfiqur at the non-striker's end. Mushfiqur struck a four as soon as he got back on strike, but fell soon after for a 56-ball 71, slogging one down deep midwicket's throat in the 48th over. Mashrafe struck three fours towards the end, but even then Bangladesh had only made 73 in their last ten overs while losing their last six wickets.

Having bowled with discipline for the first 29.1 overs of the Bangladesh innings, Afghanistan gave away too many four balls during the Shakib-Mushfiqur partnership. They seemed to tire in the field as well, conceding overthrows and letting balls go through their legs. Afghanistan also failed to use a referral in the 41st over, when Aftab Alam had an lbw appeal turned down. Replays suggested the ball was going on to hit the stumps, and had hit Mushfiqur's front pad before his bat.

Wicket, wicket, wicket

3

Wickets lost by Afghanistan in the first three overs. They have never lost as many.

The Slow Crawl

67

Bangladesh's score after 20 overs, their second-lowest against a non-Test nation (since 2001)

Associate - 1, Test nation - 0

1

Number of times that Afghanistan have played Bangladesh in an ODI. Afghanistan won that encounter (Asia Cup, 2014)

  • Soumya Sarkar's shot in the dark

    The long-lasting memory of a young batsman we have never seen before is of that <i>one</i> brilliant shot announcing his arrival

  • Batting reshuffle a needless complication

    The Bangladesh batsmen are already faced with the challenge of dealing with alien conditions. The last thing the team needs is an unwarranted rejig in the batting order

  • Umpiring confusion reigns again

    It took only seven balls for Samiullah Shenwari's delight at Afghanistan's first appearance in a World Cup to descend into personal disaster as the focus turned once again onto umpiring confusion

  • Bangladesh evade the banana peel

    Afghanistan were the bogey team and Bangladesh as the Full Member were expected to defeat them. Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan and Mashrafe Mortaza did just that

  • This is how good the World Cup could be

    Hamid's headband, Shapoor's distance sprint to the wicket, and Mirwais' shining scalp provided examples of the glories of an inclusive global tournament