Bangladesh continued their impressive campaign in the 2019 ICC World Cup with the Tigers comprehensively beating Afghanistan by 62 runs at Southampton.
All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan was once again the chief architect of Bangladesh’s win with the left-hander registering a half-century with the bat while also claiming an excellent five-wicket haul (5-29) with the ball.
Shakib’s 51 and a gritty 83 from wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim helped Bangladesh post a challenging 262-7 batting first before they bowled out the Afghans for exactly 200 runs.
It was the third victory in the tournament for Mashrafe Mortaza and his men and it propelled them to fifth spot in the table behind hosts England.
Chasing a daunting 263 on a pitch where they nearly gave India a mighty scare a couple of days ago, Afghanistan started with a promising 49-run stand between openers Gulbadin Naib and Rahmat Shah.
That all changed once Shakib was introduced into the attack with the left-armer removing both openers in an excellent spell before he dismissed danger-man Mohammad Nabi for a duck.
A fourth scalp by Shakib reduced Afghanistan to 117-5 before Saimullah Shinwari and Najibullah Zadran briefly raised Afghan hopes with a gutsy run stand for the seventh wicket.
That stand, and Afghanistan’s resistance, was ended when Shakib had Zadran stumped to complete an excellent five-wicket haul.
Earlier, Bangladesh put in a solid display with the bat even though they lost wickets at regular intervals. Shakib shared crucial stands with first Tamim Iqbal and then Mushfiqur before his 51-run knock was ended by Mujeeb ur Rahman.
Mushfiqur, who struck a ton in his last outing, continued to march on at the other end before holing out for an 87-ball 83. A brisk 35-run cameo from all-rounder Mosaddek Hossain in the death overs helped Bangladesh build on the solid platform laid by Mushfiqur and Shakib.
Mujeeb was the pick of the Afghan bowlers on the day with the mystery spinner returning with figures of 3-39 from his 10 overs.
Shakib Al Hasan
The Bangladesh star all-rounder’s magnificent World Cup continued on Monday with the southpaw registering yet another half-century. It was Shakib’s fifth 50-plus score of the tournament and it took him past Australia’s David Warner as the leading run-scorer.
Though Shakib was unable to convert it into a ton like he did against England and West Indies, the all-rounder’s innings was worth its weight in gold on a track which gripped and turned.
Shakib then followed up his excellent batting display with an ever better showing with the ball. His wily left-arm spin proved to be a tough nut to crack for the Afghan batsmen and resulted in five wickets.
A total of 476 runs with the bat an average greater than 95 along with 10 wickets with the ball means the all-rounder has been the player of the tournament so far.
Bangladesh’s experienced stars deliver again
Bangladesh had come into the World Cup with a strong core consisting of Tamim Iqbal, Shakib, Mushfiqur, Mahmudullah and Mortaza. Most of those names were on the top of their games again on Monday to nullify Afghanistan’s resistance in some style.
The same Afghan bowling attack had restricted title contenders India for just 224 runs at the same venue but they were unable to find the same joy against Bangladesh whose batsmen were far more authoritative.
Tamim, Shakib and Mushfiqur were in their elements on Monday to negate Afghanistan’s excellent spin attack and the side’s win means their semi-final hopes remain on track. The Tigers are now hot on the heels of the top-four and you wouldn’t discount their chances based on their solid campaign so far.
Shakib creates history
With his knock of 51 at Southampton, Shakib Al Hasan has now become the first Bangladesh batsman to bring up 1,000 World Cup runs.
Shakib also became the first Bangladesh bowler to pick up a five-wicket haul in the World Cup with his display. He is now only the second player after India’s Yuvraj Singh to register a fifty and pick a fiver in the same World Cup match.
He is also now the first all-rounder to score at least 400 runs and pick up 10 wickets in the same World Cup edition.
Shakib Al Hasan is the first player to score 400+ runs & take 10 or more wickets in a single World Cup. Still 2 more group games to go at least. Unbelievable individual performance— Rehan Ulhaq (@Rehan_ulhaq) June 24, 2019
Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan is hoping to carry on his stellar form into the upcoming 2019 ICC World Cup clashes against Pakistan and India following his side’s latest 62-run win over Afghanistan.
Shakib’s magnificent World Cup continued on Monday at Southampton with the left-hander registering another half-century while also becoming the first Bangladesh player to claim a World Cup five-wicket haul.
The 32-year-old has now gone past Australia’s David Warner to become the tournament’s leading run-scorer with 476 runs in total but he was more delighted with his bowling display against the Afghans.
“I think the five wickets gave me greater pleasure,” Shakib told broadcaster Star Sports after Bangladesh’s win.
“I had to work really hard for the fifty. Mushfiqur (Rahim) played an important knock, without him we wouldn’t have got the runs. We knew it was going to be tough with their three spinners, so it needed a team effort.
“I did work really hard before the World Cup, I was well prepared. The best I could ever be prepared. It’s paying off. Definitely want it to carry on. Our next two games against India and Pakistan are big games.”
Shakib’s match-winning display with both bat and ball was lauded by Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza.
“Shakib’s been fantastic. He’s scoring runs and whenever we need, he’s getting us wickets,” the Bangladesh captain said after the game.
The win has lifted Bangladesh to fifth spot in the table with seven points from as many games and it keeps their hopes of making the semi-final alive. Mortaza has vowed that his side will give it their all against Pakistan and India as they seek to make a dream run to the semi-final.
“We will try our level best (against Pakistan and India), that’s all I can say to the fans,” Mortaza concluded.
Bangladesh now have a big gap before they take on India in their next clash at Birmingham on July 2.
Cricket’s oldest rivalry is set to be renewed again when hosts England and Australia lock horns in a pivotal 2019 ICC World Cup clash at Lord’s on Tuesday.
There is the matter of an impending Ashes series to settle between the two arch-rivals in a couple of months. But there is also a lot at stake for both of them in their most immediate battle at the iconic cricket ground in London.
Defending champions Australia have one foot virtually in the semi-finals after an impressive campaign that has seen them win five of their six clashes.
Hosts England, on the other hand, have already suffered two losses in six games and come into the clash on the back of a shocking upset at the hands of Sri Lanka.
ENGLAND’S TITLE CREDENTIALS ON THE LINE
Eoin Morgan’s men were the overwhelming favourites for the World Cup before the start of the tournament, but their title credentials have taken a big beating lately.
While the hosts have still racked up the mammoth totals from time to time, their losses against Pakistan and Sri Lanka have exposed a few vulnerabilities which other top teams will be looking to exploit.
The latest loss to Sri Lanka has turned what looked like a straightforward path to the semi-final into a precarious one for Morgan and his men. England might need to win two of their three remaining games to ensure a spot in the semi-final but that certainly won’t be an easy prospect.
Their record against their final three opponents – Australia, New Zealand and India – is not the most flattering with zero World Cup wins to show against either of them since the 1992 edition.
They are still favourites to make the top four, but they will know that each of the next three fixtures is a potential banana skin. The fact that opener Jason Roy has missed the last two clashes due to a hamstring injury has not helped matters and the right-hander has been confirmed to miss the Australia fixture as well.
AUSSIES LOOK TO OVERTURN RECENT ENGLAND DOMINATION
England and India were been seen as the clear favourites before the start of the tournament, but Aaron Finch and his Men have gone on to show that Australia can never be discounted in a World Cup.
The five-time champions have exceeded expectations so far with a loss against India being the only aberration in a fine campaign. The Aussie could all but seal semi-final qualification with victory on Tuesday and derailing their arch-rival’s campaign will be added incentive for them at Lord’s.
They will also want to overturn their recent ODI domination at the hands of England that has seen them lose nine out of the last 10 fixtures between the two sides. Finch’s men were even whitewashed 5-0 in an ODI series in England last year and those wounds will still be fresh when they take the field on Tuesday.
A lot has changed for the Aussies since that series rout with the team winning 13 out of their 14 most recent ODI encounters and that should give them the confidence to tackle the hosts’ firepower at Lord’s.
England: James Vince, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (c), Jos Buttler (wk), Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood.
Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch (c), Steve Smith, Usman Khawaja, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell, Alex Carey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Adam Zampa, Mitchell Starc.