It was another enthusiastic contest in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 where just two days after putting up a great fight against the Indians, Afghanistan were up against another Asian team. This time the Bengal tigers were their opposition the Rose Bowl Cricket ground in Southampton. Afghanistan who were sitting on the bottom of the table winless were determined to dent 5th placed Bangladesh’s hopes of getting into the top 4.
Afghanistan won the toss and asked Bangladesh to bat first. For Bangladesh, Liton Das was moved up the order ahead of Soumya Sarkar to open the innings alongside the experienced Tamim Iqbal. Afghanistan started positively and picked up Liton Das in the 5th over. Shakib arrived and together with Tamim, took Bangladesh past 50. Tamim Iqbal was removed by Muhammad Nabi, courtesy a great delivery which rattled Tamim and crashed into his stumps. Mushfiq ur Rahim was the next one and the pair added valuable 60 runs before Shakib departed for 51. Soumya Sarkar replaced him but soon was sent back to the dugout making place for Mahmudullah who rotated strike cleanly for his modest 27 which allowed Bangladesh to complete 200 runs and half century of Mushfiq. In the 49th over Mushiq was caught after a terrific 83. Mosaddek Hussain played a good cameo role and was bowled on the last ball concluding Bangladesh’s innings on 262 at the loss of 7 wickets. Mujeeb ur Rehman was the star for Afghanistan picking up 3 Bangladeshi batsmen giving away frugal 39 in his 10 overs.
Gulbadin Naib and Rahmat Shah started off well and kept things nice and quiet frustrating Bangladesh’s pacers. Bangladesh skipper brought in Shakib ul Hassan and he provided his team the much needed breakthrough dismissing Rahmat Shah. Hashmatullah Shahidi came onto the crease but soon Mosaddek Hussain deceived Hashmatullah by a superb flight delivery and was stumped by Mushfiq. Moving forward Shakib picked another when Liton Das took a wonderful catch of Gulbadin who left as the 3rd wicket fell on 104. The hero of the last game Muhammad Nabi came in but during the very same over Shakib bowled him on duck with a peach of a delivery. Samiullah Shinwari with Asghar tried to build a partnership but the fire breathing Shakib picked Asghar as well. Najib Zardran was the last danger man and who else than Shakib stepped up and forced Najib to come down the pitch on a wider delivery which Najib missed and Mushfiq clipped the bails. That was wicket no. 5 for the all rounder. After that none of the remaining could do much as Bangladesh wrapped up the men in blue for 200 in 47 overs.
The most obvious man, Shakib al Hasan won the Man of the Match award for his excellent 51 with the bat and incredible five wicket haul which helped Bangladesh move close to the top 4, moving up to 5th position with 7 points while Afghanistan remained winless in the World Cup.