DHAKA, June 24, 2019 : Fresh from his 102 not out against Australia, Mushfiqur Rahim struck a magnificent while 83 while Shakib Al Hasan made 51, as Bangladesh amassed 262-7 against Afghanistan in their crucial World Cup game at the Rose Bowl in Southampton on Monday.
Opener Tamim Iqbal chipped-in-with 36 and Mosaddek Hossain Saikat paced the innings towards the end with whirlwind 24 ball-35 ball.
On the way to his fifth fifty-plus knock in six World Cup games Shakib Al Hasan stitched two important partnerships with Tamim and Mushfiqur to drive the innings in slow pitch where Afghanistan spinners posed many questions.
Off-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman specially was hard to pick and he finished with deserving 3-39 from 10 overs. Gulbadin Naib returned figures of 2-56 while Dawlat Zadran and Mohammad Nabi finished with one apiece. But Bangladesh was successful to keep Rashid Khan wicket-less who conceded 52 runs in his 10 overs.
Shakib shared 59-run with Tamim Iqbal and added 61 with Mushfiqur for the second and third wicket stand respectively to give the side a base of propelling the score past 250.
To counter Mujeeb’s off-spin, Bangladesh made left and right opening combination sending Liton Das to open the innings with Tamim Iqbal instead of Soumya Sarkar, after Afghanistan skipper Gulbadin Naib won the toss and opted to bowl first.
The strategy however didn’t work as Mujeeb eventually made a breakthrough with the wicket of Liton for 17. The dismissal looked though dubious as Hasmutullah Shahidi seemed not to take the catch cleanly. The replay was not conclusive but third umpire Aleem Dar decided to give it out.
Tamim was baffled by Mohammad Nabi’s quicker delivery before hitting four fours in his 53-ball knock.
Shakib survived a leg-before dismissal off Rashid Khan’s delivery through a review when on 26 after which he went past 1000 World Cup as the first Bangladeshi batsmen when he flicked pace bowler Dawlat Zadran through deep-square for a single to reach 35.
Just after reaching his 45th ODI half-century Mujeeb had Shakib leg-before to make an important breakthrough. Shakib just hit one boundary in his 69 ball-51 but this was enough to bring him back in the top of the world Cup batting chart with 486 runs.
Mujeeb then cracked the game open, taking out Soumya for 3, who was playing his 50th ODI.
Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah shared 56-run further to help the side hit back but the Afghan spinner ruled them, denying them any boundary almost 10 overs.
Mahmudullah was out on 27, while Mushfiqur got out in a bid to try to pace the innings. He smote four fours and the lone six of the innings in his 87 ball-83.
Mosaddek eventually took some lusty blow to help the side propel past 250, which looked enough in a surface that is getting slower and slower.