In a compelling showdown at the Asia Cup 2023, Bangladesh bounced back from their previous defeat to Sri Lanka with an impressive all-around performance, securing their place in the Super Fours. A magnificent batting display and stellar bowling helped Bangladesh triumph over Afghanistan by 89 runs in a high-scoring encounter.
Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Najmul Hossain Shanto Star with Centuries
Bangladesh’s batting resurgence was led by two remarkable centuries. The in-form Najmul Hossain Shanto continued to shine, following his resilient 89 against Sri Lanka with a brilliant second ODI century. Shanto’s aggressive approach kept the scoreboard ticking. However, it was the makeshift opener, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, who stole the limelight. Mehidy posted a career-best 112* before retiring hurt due to cramps in his left arm. Opening the batting for the first time in ODIs since the 2018 Asia Cup final, Mehidy exhibited patience and finesse while building his innings. Mohammad Naim, his partner, played aggressively, dominating the powerplay.
Afghanistan Faces an Uphill Battle
Bangladesh’s pursuit of a daunting 335-run target began on the right note when Shoriful Islam trapped Rahmanullah Gurbaz lbw early in the innings. A promising 78-run partnership between Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmat Shah briefly kept Afghanistan’s hopes alive. However, Rahmat’s slow innings, taking 57 deliveries for his 33, led to the mounting pressure of the required run rate. Taskin Ahmed eventually dismissed Rahmat with a deceptive slower delivery that stayed low.
Ibrahim Zadran fought valiantly, crafting a gritty 75 off 74 balls, but his dismissal, caught brilliantly by Mushfiqur Rahim off Hasan Mahmud, was a significant setback for Afghanistan’s chase. Hashmatullah Shahidi and Najibullah Zadran added some quick runs, managing 62 off 52 deliveries for the fourth wicket. However, Najibullah’s dismissal, bowled by Mehidy, and Shoriful’s crucial wickets of Shahidi and Gulbadin Naib helped Bangladesh maintain their grip on the game.
Taskin Ahmed and Shoriful Islam Shine with the Ball
The Bangladeshi bowlers played a pivotal role in sealing the victory. Taskin Ahmed led the charge, finishing with four wickets, including the crucial dismissals of Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman in the latter stages. Shoriful Islam also made significant contributions, picking up three wickets and troubling the Afghan batsmen with his pace and accuracy.
Injury Concerns for Both Sides
Injury concerns loomed for both teams throughout the match. Afghanistan’s star spinner, Rashid Khan, hurt himself while fielding and had limited participation in the game. Meanwhile, Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Najmul Hossain Shanto battled through their own injury issues, displaying remarkable determination under the scorching Lahore sun.
With this convincing victory, Bangladesh solidified their position in the Super Fours of the Asia Cup 2023. Their comprehensive performance showcased their resilience and determination as they eye a successful campaign in the tournament’s later stages.