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
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