Bangladesh got their 2023 ODI World Cup campaign off to a fantastic start with a commanding six-wicket win over Afghanistan in a match that showcased stellar performances from Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Shakib al Hasan, and Najmul Shanto.
Bangladesh’s path to victory began with their bowlers delivering an exceptional performance. Mehidy Hasan Miraz displayed his all-round prowess by picking up three crucial wickets for just 25 runs, restricting Afghanistan to a modest total of 156 runs on a challenging, slow wicket. Shakib al Hasan complemented Miraz’s efforts with his own impressive bowling figures of 3-30, further destabilizing the Afghan batting lineup.
Afghanistan had a promising start, reaching 112/2, but their downfall was a result of poor shot selection, with the spinners tightening the noose around the batsmen.
In the chase, Bangladesh faced early jitters, losing two quick wickets with only 27 runs on the board. However, Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Najmul Shanto came to the rescue, forming a resilient partnership of 97 runs for the third wicket. The pair demonstrated excellent rotation of strike, keeping the Afghan bowlers at bay. Mehidy Hasan Miraz played a pivotal role, scoring 57 runs off 58 balls, including some crucial boundaries and a half-century.
Miraz, who was earlier adjudged LBW but successfully reviewed the decision, finally fell to an exceptional one-handed catch from Rahmat Shah, but his contribution had breathed life into Bangladesh’s chase. Najmul Shanto remained unbeaten on 58* and guided Bangladesh to victory in the 35th over, completing his half-century in the process.
Earlier in the day, Afghanistan’s batsmen struggled against the Bangladesh spinners, with Shakib al Hasan taking key wickets, and Mustafizur Rahman and Taskin Ahmed adding to the pressure. Afghanistan, despite a promising start, were bowled out for 156 in 37.2 overs.
Bangladesh reached the target with ease, scoring 158/4 in 34.4 overs. This emphatic six-wicket victory marked a positive beginning for Bangladesh in the 2023 ODI World Cup and earned them their first points in the tournament.
Afghanistan: 156 all out in 37.2 overs (Rahmanullah Gurbaz 47; Shakib al Hasan 3-30, Mehidy Hasan Miraz 3-25)
Bangladesh: 158/4 in 34.4 overs (Najmul Shanto 58*, Mehidy Hasan Miraz 57; Fazalhaq Farooqi 1-19)
Result: Bangladesh won by 6 wickets.