Bangladesh managed to stay alive in the 2019 World Cup with a resounding victory over Afghanistan by 62 runs at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim scripted the incredible triumph and the Tigers moved to the fifth position of the table, below hosts England. Mashrafe Mortaza’s men will now be high on confidence for their remaining two matches versus Pakistan and India.
Mushfiq and Shakib shine for the Tigers
After being put in to bat first on a slow strip, Bangladesh managed 262 in their 50 overs. The Afghans attacked with Mujeeb Ur Rahman at the start and it paid dividends as he got rid of Liton Das for 16. The 59-run stand between Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal looked threatening, but Mohammad Nabi castled the latter for 36. The onus was on Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib to negate the Afghan spin threat.
Mujeeb got the massive scalp of Shakib, who got a 69-ball 51. Thereafter, Mushfiqur took charge and played until the penultimate over. The pocket-size dynamite notched 83 off 87 with four boundaries and a six. Mahmudullah had his difficulties in his 38-ball 27. But it was Mosaddek Hossain’s 24-ball 35 that propelled the Tigers’ score. Most importantly, Bangladesh didn’t allow Rashid Khan to get a wicket.
Shakib engulfs the Afghans
The Tigers attacked with pacers in the first nine overs, but it didn’t work out. Gulbadin Naib and Rahmat Shah played carefully. It was the introduction of Shakib Al Hasan that put pressure on the batters. The southpaw removed Shah for 24 to strike first blood. Hashmatullah Shahidi strained for his 11 before being dismissed by Mosaddek. Naib took up 75 balls for his 47 and became Shakib’s second wicket.
Shakib pinned the in-form Nabi for a duck to set the cat amongst the pigeons in the Afghan camp. Najibullah Zadran and Samiullah Shinwari tried their heart out with a 56-run stand, but their efforts went in vain. Shakib pinned Najibullah to become the first Bangladesh bowler with a five-wicket-haul in the World Cup. Shinwari stayed not out on 49 even as the Afghans got bowled out for 200 in 47 overs.
Shakib Al Hasan, the Player of the Match, added
It’s been great (the support from fans) throughout this World Cup. They have been supporting us from the first game and luckily we have started well and they have been supporting us all through so far. Hopefully it will continue in the next few games as well.
Five wickets obviously (which was special). It was important to bat deep and I had to really work hard for my 50 runs. Without Mushy (Rahim) we would not have got where we got. Others chipped in with the bat as well.
Overall, it’s a team effort and we know it’s gonna get tough with three spinners. Before this World Cup, I was fully prepared; it’s the best I have prepared and its paying off. A combination of hardwork and luck I guess (about his form in this tournament).
Two more important games are coming up for us. India and Pakistan, we have to play to the best of our ability to win those matches but this win will give us a lot of confidence.
Mashrafe Mortaza, the Bangladesh captain, said
The crowd has been really superb for us and the atmosphere has been amazing. He (Shakib) has been outstanding for us in the tournament, he keeps scoring runs in every game and also comes on to bowl whenever needed. That partnership between Mushy and Shakib was important, as the track wasn’t easy to bat on.
Tamim batted well too and then the finish from Mahmudullah and Mosaddek was also crucial. Obviously, that’s a call for the physio to make (on Mahmudullah’s calf injury) but there’s a week left and I think he should be fine. If we play well, we should be able to do well (against India and Pakistan).
Gulbadin Naib, the Afghanistan captain, said
Obviously, the last game was tough but today, we weren’t good on the field and gave 30-40 runs extra. It was a slow wicket with help for the spinners but batting wasn’t that hard. Credit to Shakib, he bowled really well.
(On sending Najibullah at 8) He is a strong hitter, so we wanted to hold him back and hence, sent Ikram up so that he could rotate the strike. But it didn’t work. We have done a lot of good things in the tournament. To do well in such a tournament, you need to prepare well. We didn’t have some things going our way like some key injuries and all.