Bangladesh v Afghanistan, World T20, Group A, Mirpur March 16, 2014

Spinners give Bangladesh important win


Bangladesh 78 for 1 (Anamul 44*) beat Afghanistan 72 (Shakib 3-8, Razzak 2-20) by nine wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Everything came together for Bangladesh, on the day it really had to be just right. By beating Afghanistan by nine wickets in the World T20 opener, they took a big step towards entering the main draw of their home tournament, and avoided the discomfort of losing to an Associate nation twice in the space of 16 days.

Mushfiqur Rahim's decision to bowl first was slightly strange given that he felt the day before that chasing was hard in T20s. But his decision was vindicated by Bangladesh's best bowling performance in this format. Skittling Afghanistan out for just 72 runs in 17.1 overs was the first time they had bowled out an opposition in T20s.

Bangladesh enjoyed their best Powerplay overs as a bowling unit, sending down 24 dot balls in the first six overs and taking three wickets. Abdur Razzak got his arm-ball groove back, nailing Mohammad Nabi and Samiullah Shenwari, two batsmen who could have taken it away for Afghanistan.

Mahmudullah bowled the most economical completed spell in T20s for Bangladesh, giving away just eight runs in his four overs, and Shakib Al Hasan picked up three cheap wickets.

Afghanistan's crash to 72 all out started in the very first ball of the match. Mohammad Shahzad, the only batsman from their side to have more than 1000 runs in all levels of T20 cricket, went after Mashrafe Mortaza far too early. He holed out to mid-off, giving Bangladesh the perfect start.

Gulbadin Naib and Najeeb Tarakai slowed down slightly, before playing some shots when the bowlers pitched short or wide, but such release deliveries were rare, especially after Mushfiqur Rahim turned the screws by bringing on Shakib.

In the sixth over, Naib was dropped by Sabbir Rahman at long-on, a regulation chance, but he chanced his arm the next ball, launching one to the fielder's right. Sabbir took the harder running catch, and Afghanistan's batting collapse began.

Tarakai, having crossed over, gave cover a simple catch when he top-edged Shakib off the next ball. In the next over, Sabbir made his presence felt once again with a direct hit from short fine-leg, catching Nawroz Mangal short of the crease. Three wickets lost in six balls, without a run added.

What was required at this point was for Nabi to play till the end but the Afghanistan captain was stung by a Razzak arm-ball that made it 49 for 5 in the 10th over. Karim Sadiq was run out trying to take a second in the 12th over, another direct hit from Farhad Reza running in from the deep.

Shenwari and Shafiqullah were out off successive balls thereafter, though the latter didn't edge the Mahmudullah delivery that climbed on him awkwardly.

Bangladesh's task was simple as they began their chase: hold the Afghanistan seam attack at bay and play away the spinners. Tamim Iqbal and Anamul Haque made a good start, particularly given how much Nabi and Sadiq made the new ball turn.

Tamim was lbw to Shenwari's leg-break, missing the line of the ball as he pressed forward to defend, having made 21 off 27 balls.

Anamul remained aggressive, hammering a couple of sixes to get himself going before flicking and driving boundaries. When Anamul hammered the winning six with eight overs remaining, he was unbeaten on 44 off 31 balls; Shakib, at the other end, was batting on 10. This was Anamul's third six, all hit down the ground.

The win broke Bangladesh's 10-match losing streak in World T20s since 2007, and was their second win in this competition. Strikingly, this was their first international win since November 3.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 18, 2014, 19:47 GMT

    Dear RibhavBansal, Like your comment, well said...we actually follow the same principle of Indian Cricket Team.

  • Ribhav on March 18, 2014, 11:36 GMT

    In a way, it is good that Bangladesh have to qualify for the main draw. It gives them a chance to win 3 matches against countries like Afghanistan, Hong Kong and Nepal and quench the thirst of their die hard fans, because once they reach the main draw, I dont see them winning a single match against the main countries, no doubt they are the best amongst the associates but that is what they are, they cannot compete with the main countries - sure they will pull an upset here and there, but seeing their current talent pool, if they cannot reach the semifinals of the World T20 despite it being at home and despite tall claims of "We can beat any team at home", then they can never progress further.

  • Dummy4 on March 17, 2014, 22:16 GMT

    Nepal, Hong kong & Afghanistan is not our target in this t20 world cup, our main & only target is to beat India & to wash our critics again. We have more balanced spin & pace attack than team India & West Indies. Our batting depth is better than WI & Pakistan. Just we need to believe in ourselves that we can destroy all the opponents in our day. Best of luck for Bangladesh cricket team. Hope they'll think about their team's poor performance & will never try to cover up it by criticizing to us.

  • Dummy4 on March 17, 2014, 19:57 GMT

    I have to say that wel-done by BD team, U showed the world that you deserve to be where u are, if you played every game from now on till the end with passion the way you played against Afghanistan I will say you be the t20 champions. BD have the talent but they luck passion when they play. As far for AFG goes they need to learn from this game and move on, so far it seems that they haven't learned from defeats in previous t20 games cause they always said oh we played against England, SA, India ect. but I hope there is no excuse this time. Honest opinion from an Afghan fan.

  • roket on March 17, 2014, 15:14 GMT

    @Lionsoflanka: Ireland lost by huge margin to BD two days ago, goes to show how farcical the ranking system is. Now you are smelling conspiracy in group selection, which is done by lottery? It was AFG who was going to knock us out before the first match, now it is Nepal? I know the nervousness SL fans are feeling after barely winning on the last ball in the recent two T20I, one of which required help from umpire, I know you guys don't want us to be in the super 10, because luck do not work 3 times in a row. Keep your prayers up, we will see who wins tomorrow!

  • Hasib on March 17, 2014, 14:24 GMT

    This is almost the best available 11 in the country for BD. Only Zia for Reza would make a slight difference, but not much. And Shakib should not have been fined.

  • Dummy4 on March 17, 2014, 11:46 GMT

    It was the way Bangladesh won against Afghanistan that was the most pleasing aspect. All three disciplines of the game were intelligently executed. They had planned very well with the bowling changes when needed to be, bowled and set the field to the opposition batsmen's weak points, pitched the deliveries at the right spot and bowled quickly between overs to unsettle the Afghanistan batsmen. They valued their wickets and batted very intelligently and the Afghans had no answer to it except the out of control aggression. We were able to kill off the opponent in the death overs rather then conceding countless runs by simple line and length pitched deliveries and let the opposition commit mistakes.

    Bangladesh needs to employ these same tactics no matter who the opponent is and i am sure we will greatly benefit from this. May be that loss to the Afghans in the Asia Cup was a blessing in disguise.

  • Dummy4 on March 17, 2014, 11:31 GMT

    To be very honest with you, Shakib had every reason to be angry. The highlight video clearly shows how Dawlat was being aggressive unprovoked, and i am sure everyone can understand what Dawlat called him, which would make anyone furious. Tamim was very mature to not respond, because he didn't want to blow away his return to the team with any controversy, but again, the overall attitude by the AFG team was too immature at the least, and completely unprofessional at best. To be very honest, it was a deliberate attempt to heat up the BD boys and get to act rashly. But AFG need to learn about the difference in mind games and plain crass rude behaivior. If you notice anamul after the winning shot, he mumbles something, which shows how annoyed the team was by this wierd and uncalled for attitude.

    Now, both teams should focus on the future, and BD should try to carry this form, and this perofance to the next 7 matches, 9 matches, which, if they manage to achieve, the cup will stay home!

  • Abdul Hakim on March 17, 2014, 9:13 GMT

    i request ICC to consider our cricket board, it is full of corruption every player is based on references to play at National team, i would say if the ICC do not consider the cricket board members and director am pretty sure we would not improve even we will go more and more down.

  • Abdul Hakim on March 17, 2014, 9:09 GMT

    T20 is by chance game jst remember ODI, hahahhaha that was really fan for me and the Afghan Team made a record for the first time. am sure if Afghan play T20 vs BD at UAE am 100 % sure Afghan will hardly beat them.

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