Asia Cup 2023: Group B, Bangladesh vs Afghanistan: Mehidy Hasan Miraz-Najmul Hossain Shanto's 194-run stand, Ibrahim Zadran's 75 & Hasmatullah Shahidi's 51 and Shoriful Islam's 3/36 are top performances. Bangladesh beat Afghanistan and enter Super 4.
Brief scores: Bangladesh 334/5 (Mehidy Hasan Miraz 112 retired hurt, Najmul Hossain Shanto 104) beat Afghanistan 245 (Ibrahim Zadran 75, Taskin Ahmed 4/44, Shoriful Islam 3/36) by 89 runs.
Man of the match: Mehidy Hasan Miraz (112*, 1/41)
Bangladesh won a must-win match against Afghanistan by 89 runs in the Asia Cup 2023 to enter the Super Four stage. Bangladesh defended a target of 335, bowling Afghanistan out for 245. The result of the Tuesday match between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka will confirm the second team in Group B that will qualify for the Super Four stage.
Talking points from Bangladesh vs Afghanistan Game
Mehidy Hasan Miraz's ton as an opener against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup in just his second innings in this position adds much value to Bangladesh. If they continue to play Miraz as an opener, they could rope in an extra bowler or batter, depending on the pitch's nature and the opposition's quality. In all his other 50 innings, he has batted as low as 6th or even lower. Najmul Hossain Shanto's second straight score of 80-plus in the 2023 Asia Cup bodes well for Bangladesh ahead of the crucial Super Four stage.
Bangladesh post 334/5
Bangladesh openers got their team to a good start, putting in 60 runs for the first wicket. Afghanistan off-spinner Mueejb Ur Rahman got the first breakthrough for his team, dismissing Mohammad Naim for 28, who bowled with a wrong one. Afghanistan got another reward as Bangladesh No.. 3 Towhid Hridoy fell attempting to drive a full and wide delivery for duck, with Ibrahim Zadran taking the catch at slip. Mehidy Hasan Miraz (112) and Najmul Hossain Shanto (104) then combined to post a stand of 194 runs for the third wicket before Miraz retired hurt. This was the fifth time two Bangladesh batters scored a hundred in the same ODI. Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan then played a cameo of 18-ball 32 with four fours and 1 six to take the team's score to 334/5.
Afghanistan manage 245
Afghanistan could have started the chase better, losing opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz early for 1 to Shoriful Islam. But the other opener, Ibrahim Zadran, resurrected the innings in the company of Rahmat Shah (78-run stand for the second wicket) and then captain Hasmatullah Shahidi (52-run stand for the third wicket). Ibrahim Zadran cracked 75 with ten fours and 1 six before he edged to keeper Mushfiqur Rahim off Hasan Mahmud. Captain Shahidi contributed 51 runs. As the required run rate climbed over 15 runs per over, Afghanistan's innings fell apart, with the last seven wickets falling for 52 runs in 8.2 overs. For Bangladesh, Shoriful Islam took 3/36 while Taskin Ahmed bagged 4/44.
Let's scan the top performances between Afghanistan and Bangladesh in the 2023 Asia Cup
Mehidy Hasan Miraz-Najmul Hossain Shanto's 194* stand
The two came together when two wickets fell quickly, and Bangladesh needed a partnership to build momentum and later cash in during the death overs. Miraz-Shanto's stand of 194* did the job for the team. The duo complemented each other brilliantly, with the left-right combination making it difficult for Afghanistan to adjust their line and length. The duo used that opportunity, punishing the loose balls while rotating the strike to keep the scoreboard ticking. They were also helped largely by some poor fielding from Afghanistan. The two were at ease against pacers and spinners, with the Afghan trio of spinners – Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and Mohammad Nabi – failing to make much of an impact. This was just the second time Miraz was opening in ODIs. Except for these two innings, all the Miraz innings had been at no six or below.
Ibrahim Zadran's 75 & Hasmatullah Shahidi's 51, and their 52-run stand
Afghanistan opener Ibrahim Zadran lost his partner Rahmanullah Gurbaz early in the second over and then went on to rebuild the innings in the company of Rahmat Shah. Zadran was easily the best batter of the two as he not only held one end up with a stubborn defense but also came up with a few brilliant shots to keep the scorecard ticking. He mostly accumulated his runs square of the wicket,, unleashing some stunning drives on the front and back foot. He combined with captain Shahidi to put in a crucial 52-run stand. Shahidi was slow to start but did not throw his wicket away and ground it out to make a well-made 51. Thanks to their efforts and their 51-run stand, Afghanistan kept their hopes alive of chasing the target down.
Shoriful Islam's 3/36
Shoriful Islam was the best Bangladesh bowler during the match. Bowling the second over of the Afghanistan innings, Islam repeatedly troubled Rahmanullah Gurbaz, getting the ball to move into the batter’s from the left arm over the wicket. He finally had the man on the fourth ball via LBW. Later, he dismissed the Afghan skipper Shahidi, who slashed at a wide delivery to hole out in the deep. He then dismissed Gulbadin Naib bowled to cap a brilliant day for himself. What was impressive about Islam was the line and length he bowled and his ability to get the ball to move into the right-hander. He returned with figures of 3/36.
Asia Cup 2023, Group B Points Table
Points Table scenario & What's next
Bangladesh have, in all likeliness, qualified for the Super Four stage as they enjoy a healthy net run-rate of 0.373 with 2 points, irrespective of the result of Tuesday's clash between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.
Afghanistan will have to beat Sri Lanka by a big margin to qualify for Super Four, as they have a negative net run rate of -1.780. An outright win for Sri Lanka against Afghanistan will mean a straight entry for them to the Super Four, and if they lose by a low margin, they could still pip Afghanistan for the spot.