Canberra: World Cup debutants Afghanistan crumbled against Bangladesh to lose their opening Pool A match by 105 runs at the Manuka Oval here Wednesday.
Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim (71) and Shakib Al Hasan (63) had pushed Bangladesh to 267 all out during the encounter. But Afghanistan managed only 162 in their chase and were bowled out in 42.5 overs.
Bangladesh cricketers celebrate a wicket. Pic/ AFP
Experienced pacer Mashrafe Mortaza showed Bangladesh the way by picking two of the first three Afghan wickets that fell for just three runs. Afghanistan failed to recover from those early blows.
Samiullah Shenwari (42) and skipper Mohammad Nabi (44) tried to rebuild the innings with a 62-run partnership for the fourth wicket. But it wasn't enough.
Mortaza (3/20) got good support from Rubel Hossain (1/27) and Taskin Ahmed (1/23) at the start. Shakib also contributed with the ball, picking 2/43. Mahumudullah chipped in with a solitary wicket.
Earlier, Bangladesh were struggling at 119/4 when Rahim joined Shakib and they put up a 114-run partnership for the fifth wicket to bail the team out of trouble. They not only stabilised the innings but also ensured that they scored at a good pace.
Afghanistan opening bowlers Hamid Hassan and Shapoor Zadran made a decent start, not letting opening batsmen Tamim Iqbal (19) and Anamul Haque (29) to break free. They bowled with good line and length, forcing the batsmen to play defensively during the first 15 overs.
The Bangladesh batsmen showed a lot of patience and did their best to get the scoreboard ticking.
However, explosive batsman Tamim lost his patience. The left-hander edged medium pacer Mirwais Ashraf's length ball to wicketkeeper Afsar Zafai, who dived to his left and plucked a single-handed catch.
Ashraf trapped Haque in the fourth ball of the 17th over to send both the settled batsmen packing.
Mahmudullah (23) and Soumya Sarkar (28) did well to stitch a 50-run stand for the third wicket before the latter was bowled plumb in front of the wicket by Zadran in the 26th over. Zadran dealt another blow as he forced an edge off Mahmudullah into the hands of wicketkeeper Afzai.
At 119/4, Rahim joined Shakib with his team reeling. Both the senior players played positively from the start and a partnership flourished.
They didn't hesitate to punish the weak deliveries and, as a result, their scoring rate remained healthy. They scored 114 runs in 15.4 overs to set the team for a blast at the death. While Shakib recorded his 27th One-Day International (ODI) fifty, Rahim notched up his 19th half-century.
During his 63-run knock, Shakib also became the first Bangladesh batsman to score 4,000 runs in One-Day Internationals (ODIs). The left-handed batsman was 23 runs short of the mark before his 142nd ODI Wednesday.
He clipped medium pacer Aftab Alam towards the leg side in his 26th delivery to sign up for the club with a boundary.
However, both the batsmen lost their wickets and the lower order line-up crumbled against a disciplined Afghanistan bowling.
For Afghanistan, Aftab Alam, Zadran, Hassan, Ashraf picked up two wickets apiece. Nabi took the all important wicket of the opposing captain.
Brief Scores: Bangladesh 267 all out in 50 overs (Mushfiqur Rahim 71, Shakib Al Hasan 63; Shapoor Zadran 2/20, Mirwais Ashraf 2/32), Afghanistan 162 all out in 42.5 overs (Mohammad Nabi 44, Samiullah Shenwari 42; Mashrafe Mortaza 3/20, Shakib Al Hasan 2/43). Bangladesh won by 105 runs.
Shakib Al Hasan became the first Bangladesh cricketer to make 4,000 one-day international runs on Wednesday during the World Cup clash against Afghanistan.
Shakib reached the landmark in his 142nd ODI when he clipped a ball from Aftab Alam for a boundary in the 37th over at Canberra's Manuka Oval.