Bangladesh Smash Afghanistan to Keep Super 4s Hope Alive

Bangladesh Smash Afghanistan to Keep Super 4s Hope Alive

In an action-packed clash between Bangladesh and Afghanistan in Group B of the Asia Cup 2023 held at Lahore, Bangladesh showcased their prowess both with the bat and ball, securing a convincing 89-run victory. This victory was a must-win situation for the Bangladesh Tigers, and they delivered brilliantly.

The future of Group B now hinges on the outcome of the final match between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, scheduled for September 5.

Bangladesh displayed remarkable batting skills, amassing a colossal 334/5. The star performers were Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Najmul Hossain Shanto, both notching up centuries.

Afghanistan’s chase, on the other hand, never truly gained momentum. Shoriful Islam struck early, dismissing the dangerous Rahmanullah Gurbaz.

While Ibrahim Zadran (75), Rahmat Shah (33), and Hashmatullah Shahidi (51) made important contributions, Bangladesh’s tight bowling kept the required run rate climbing.

Despite having seven wickets in hand with 15 overs to go, Afghanistan couldn’t muster a substantial effort to chase down the target, with the required run rate exceeding 10.

The pressure of the scoreboard ultimately led to Afghanistan’s downfall as they succumbed to an 89-run defeat. Bangladesh’s pacers excelled, with Taskin Ahmed (4/44), Shoriful Islam (3/35), and Hasan Mahmud (1/61) accounting for eight wickets collectively.

Earlier in the day, Shakib Al Hasan won the toss and chose to bat first in Lahore. Bangladesh surprised everyone by sending all-rounder Mehidy Hasan Miraz to open alongside Mohammed Naim, a decision that paid dividends as the duo provided a solid start.

The quick dismissals of Naim and Towhid Hridoy in consecutive overs momentarily rocked the Tigers. However, Mehidy and Najmul Hossain Shanto joined forces to rebuild the innings, forming an impressive 194-run partnership, setting the stage for a strong finish.

This partnership became the highest ever for Bangladesh in the Asia Cup, surpassing their previous best of 160 runs set by Imrul Kayes and Junaid Siddique against Pakistan in 2010.

Both batsmen also achieved personal milestones, recording their second ODI hundreds during this innings. Mehidy eventually retired hurt after a splendid 112*, while Shanto fell after contributing a well-made 104.

Bangladesh maintained their momentum, reaching a formidable total of 334/5, thanks to some aggressive cameos from Mushfiqur Rahim (25 off 15) and Shakib Al Hasan (32 off 18).

This marked their third-highest total in ODI cricket and their highest against an Asian opponent, further establishing their dominance in the tournament.

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