CWC 2023, Bangladesh vs Afghanistan: Shakib Al Hasan's 3-30, Mehidy Hasan Miraz's 3-25 & 57 and Najmul Hossain Shanto's 59 are top performances. Bangladesh beat Afghanistan by 6 wickets.
Brief Scores: BAN 158/4 (Shanto 59*, Miraz 57, Omarzai 1/9) beat AFG 156 (Gurbaz 47, Mehidy 3/25, Shakib 3/30) by six wickets
Player of the Match: Mehidy Hasan Miraz (57 & 3/25)
Aspirational Bangladesh took on dark horses Afghanistan in the third game of the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023. The match was held at the picturesque Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala on Saturday.
Bangladesh, with a powerful 9-6 win margin over Afghanistan, have won both their clashes prior to the current one in World Cup.
Talking point: Afghanistan spinners need to step up in coming games
The Afghanistan spinners looked little bit under cooked in this game. Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman bowled well occasionally, but weren’t consistent enough to keep the pressure for a long time. While Bangladesh spinners picked up six wickets between them, the Afghanistan spinners didn’t get a single wicket and they need to improve soon in the tournament.
Bangladesh blew away Afghanistan with impressive all-round show
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan, on winning the toss, opted to field first on a track that could assist the swing bowlers early. Mahmudullah returned to the side, while Afghanistan welcomed Naveen-ul-Haq.
Put into bat, the 47-run opening stand gave Afghanistan a decent start with 50/1 in the first 10 overs, before Bangladesh spinners pulled them back in the contest at 112/3 at the halfway mark. Since losing Rahmanullah Gurbaz, they fell like a pack of cards losing their last eights wickets for 44 runs and got bowled out for 156 in 37.2 overs.
In reply, Bangladesh made a shaky start with 27/2 in seven overs, before Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Najmul Hossain Shanto eased their way to 106/2 in 25 overs. The 97-run third wicket stand took them to 146/4 before Najmul Hossain Shanto guided them over the line with 59* in 34.4 overs with six wickets in hand.
Let’s take a look at the top three performances from the game between Bangladesh and Afghanistan in CWC 2023.
Experienced Shakib brought Bangladesh back with 3/30
With Afghanistan getting a good start, Shakib Al Hasan brought himself early into the attack and straightaway broke the opening stand sending back Ibrahim Zadran (22). Zadran tried to slog sweep but ended up getting a top edge that reached into the hands of the square leg fielder. Rahmat Shah, on 18, tried to sweep Shakib but again got a top edge as the short cover fielder grabbed an easy catch.
Najibullah Zadran (5), looking to flick the ball, played it inside the line. The ball didn’t turn much and knocked down the stumps. Shakib finished with 3/30 in his eight overs to now have 311 ODI scalps in 241 games.
Mehidy punctured Afghanistan with 3/25 & 57-run knock
Along with Shakib, Mehidy Hasan Miraz kept it tight from the other end as the batters looked a break the shackles. After giving just 14 runs in his first five over, Miraz sent back Hashmatullah Shahidi who, after a struggling 18, swung his willow across the line only to find the deep mid-on fielder.
Rashid Khan (9) tried to nudge the ball towards the leg side but got an inside edge into the stumps. Mehidy disturbed the furniture of Mujeeb Ur Rahman (1) who just went for a slog against the juicy teasing full delivery. Miraz ended with 3/25 in nine overs, including three maidens, to now have 94 ODI scalps in 83 games.
Even with the bat, he showed his importance coming at number three. He cracked Rashid over extra-cover for a four before getting an outside edge as the ball rolled behind the stumps for another boundary. Mehidy Hasan Miraz reached his third fifty in 58 balls, before cutting Rashid through backward point for a four. He was dismissed for 57 runs with five boundaries, to now have 1103 ODI runs in 56 innings.
Shanto settled the nerves of Bangladesh fans with an unbeaten 59-run knock
Chasing a low score, Bangladesh looked little under pressure when Najmul Hasan Shanto joined Mehidy in the middle. They combined to make a match-winning 97-run stand for the third wicket.
Shanto generally looked to focus mostly on singles, before lofting Mujeeb over long-on for a six in the latter phase of his innings. His singles kept the pressure on the bowlers. With a single in the fine leg region, Shanto celebrated his sixth ODI fifty in 80 balls.
He finished the game with two consecutive boundaries to remain unbeaten on 59 with three fours and one six, to now have 967 runs in 31 innings.
Statistical Highlights from Bangladesh vs Afghanistan game
Gurbaz becomes the fourth youngest (21y 313d) designated spinner to score 1000 ODI runs.
Shakib has dismissed Najibullah four times in ODIs, giving away 62 runs in 65 balls.
Shakib has also got the better of Rahmat Shah four times in ODIs who in reply has just 62 runs in 104 balls.
Mehidy Hasan has dismissed Shahidi three times in ODIs, giving away just 76 runs in 144 balls.
The 97-run stand between Miraz and Najmul is now the third-highest third wicket stand for Bangladesh in ODI World Cups.
Afghanistan now has lost 13 consecutive ODIs in the World Cup, third most in the list.
Points Table Scenario & What’s to Come
Bangladesh moved to third position with two points at a net run rate (NRR) of 1.44.
India will look horns with Australia on October 8 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.