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4th Match, Group B (D/N), Lahore, September 03, 2023, Asia Cup
(44.3/50 ov, T:335) 245

Bangladesh won by 89 runs

Player Of The Match
112* (119) & 1/41

Mehidy, Shanto power Bangladesh into the Super Fours

The pair scored centuries to set up a match-winning total of 334

Abhimanyu Bose
Bangladesh 334 for 5 (Mehidy 112*, Shanto 104, Naib 1-58) beat Afghanistan 245 (Ibrahim 75, Shahidi 51, Taskin 4-44, Shoriful 3-36) by 89 runs
Bangladesh bounced back from their defeat against Sri Lanka with a much-improved batting display to thump Afghanistan and secure a spot in the Super Fours of Asia Cup 2023.
Centuries from the in-form Najmul Hossain Shanto and makeshift opener Mehidy Hasan Miraz helped Bangladesh post an imposing 334 for 5 before Taskin Ahmed and Shoriful Islam helped bowl Afghanistan out for 245.
Shanto followed up his fighting 89 against Sri Lanka with a brisk second ODI century, while Mehidy posted his highest score in the format before retiring hurt due to cramps in his left arm.
Mehidy, opening the batting for the first time in ODIs since the 2018 Asia Cup final, took his time to get in and it was Mohammad Naim who dominated the powerplay.
Naim took the attack to the bowlers from the first over, slapping Fazalhaq Farooqi's second delivery through point for the first boundary of the match.
Bangladesh were ticking along at around a run a ball for the powerplay and almost completed it without taking any damage but for a terrific googly from Mujeeb Ur Rahman that turned past Naim's outside edge to crash into his off stump.
Surprisingly, it was Towhid Hridoy who came out at No. 3 ahead of Shanto, but Shanto did not have to wait long to get in the action as Hridoy was out second ball, edging Gulbadin Naib to first slip.
Shanto took six deliveries to get off the mark, with a boundary through the leg side, and then found his rhythm, hitting Naib for back-to-back fours. Mehidy and Shanto proceeded to wear Afghanistan down with a 194-run partnership off 190 deliveries before Mehidy retired hurt.
Afghanistan's star spinner, Rashid Khan, hurt himself while fielding and was introduced only in the 17th over. He started with a maiden but bowled only four overs in his first spell and was reintroduced for a second spell in the 32nd over.
Bangladesh had injury concerns of their own, with Mehidy struggling throughout the innings and Shanto also pulling up while completing a run, but both batters fought on in the Lahore heat. Mehidy reached his half-century in the 24th over; Shanto pulled Farooqi for a six in the 31st to get to his.
Mehidy got to his century off 115 deliveries, scampering for a single after miscuing a pull off Naib. When Rashid came back for his third spell in the 42nd over, Shanto pulled him for two boundaries in a 12-run over. In the next, Mehidy went inside out to hit Mujeeb for a six over extra cover before physios had to come out to treat him for cramps. Mehidy left the field but Shanto, who had scored 89 against Sri Lanka, reached a 101-ball century in the same over.
Shanto was run out for 104, having slipped while attempting a single after reverse-sweeping Mujeeb.
Bangladesh carried the momentum into their defence of 335, with Shoriful Islam trapping Rahmanullah Gurbaz lbw with the fourth delivery of the second over. Shoriful could have had Gurbaz two balls earlier when rapped him on the pads with an inswinger but Bangladesh chose not to review the on-field not-out decision. It did not prove costly.
Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmat Shah then put on a 78-run stand off 97 deliveries, but Rahmat taking 57 deliveries for his 33 meant the asking rate was rising with every over. Rahmat eventually fell to a slower one from Taskin that stayed low.
Ibrahim tried to keep Afghanistan in the hunt with a 74-ball 75 but edged Hasan Mahmud and Mushfiqur Rahim took a brilliant one-handed catch diving to his right.
Hashmatullah Shahidi and Najibullah Zadran picked up the tempo, adding 62 off 52 deliveries for the fourth wicket before Najibullah missed a swipe across the line and was bowled by Mehidy.
Shoriful then had Shahidi caught at deep third before knocking Gulbadin Naib's stumps for his third wicket. Taskin finished with four, claiming the wickets of Mohammad Nabi, Rashid and Mujeeb at the back end.

Abhimanyu Bose is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo

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