Afghanistan remains the only team yet to win their first World Cup match amongst the teams who have participated in 2+ World Cups till now. And this losing streak of Afghanistan seems immortal for the time being. Afghanistan was unable to defeat a not-so-strong team of Bangladesh today in the match no. 7 of the #CWC15.
TOSS: Bangladesh won the toss and decided to have a bat first.
After opting to bat first, Bangladesh got off to a slow start as the Afghans bowled with great discipline. Mirwais Ashraf removed Tamim Iqbal and ended up his 47-run opening stand with Anamul Haque in the 14th over. Mirwais dismissed Anamul soon to put a bit of pressure on Bangladesh. Soumya Sarkar and Mahmudullah steadied the ship with a brisk fifty-run stand before both went in quick succession.
The experienced duo of Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim then got involved in a record partnership of 114 runs to swing the pendulum in their favor. However, Mohammad Nabi’s bowlers came back strongly in the death overs, picking up 6 wickets in the last 6 overs to stem the run flow. Mirwais Ashraf, Aftab Alam, Shapoor Zadran and Hamid Hassan bagged two wickets apiece, but Shapoor was the best of the bowlers as he conceded just 20 runs in his 7 overs.
Afghanistan started and ended well with the ball, but allowed Shakib and Rahim to build a 114-run stand for the fifth wicket- the highest partnership for any wicket for Bangladesh in a World Cup match. That helped Bangladesh post a more than competitive 267 from their allotted 50 overs.
Bangaldesh enjoyed a fantastic start with the ball as well. They reduced Afghanistan to 3 for 3 in the first three overs. Although not entirely comfortable, Nawroz Mangal and Samiullah Shenwari somehow managed to stabilize the innings for a while and put up a 62-run stand for the fourth wicket. However, both of them departed within a space of three overs, pushing Afghanistan into further trouble. Skipper Mohammad Nabi came to their rescue next and along with Najibullah Zadran added 58 for the sixth wicket.
However, things changed dramatically once again in the batting powerplay. Najibullah got a tough one on 17 and Nabi perished on the very next ball for a well made 44. The tail-enders played a couple of good shots but were not able to hang on for long.
Mashrafe Mortaza was the pick of the bowlers and scalped three wickets giving away just 20 runs in his 9 overs. He was well supported by Shakib, who picked up two. Together the bowlers made sure that Afghanistan never really got going and remained behind the required run rate throughout their innings.
Musfiqur Rahim was adjudged the Man of the Match for his 71 off 56 balls against weak bowling attack of Afghanistan.
Bangladesh 267/10 in 50 overs
Afgansitan 162/10 in 42.5 overs