Before this match, Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib had stated that he wanted to take Bangladesh down along with his own team, which was already drowning. However, the Bangla tigers were ruthless at The Rose Bowl and defeated the Afghans by 62 runs. Shakib Al Hasan with his knock of 51 and a game-changing spell of 5/29 was once again the star performer for Bangladesh. Mushfiqur Rahim also contributed with a splendid 83 which helped the side gain an upper hand in the first innings.
This was the day the Bangladeshi superstar put his bowling skills on the finest exhibition. Scything through the Afghan batting lineup, Shakib ended with figures of 10-1-29-5. All five of his wickets were top-order batsmen. The all-rounder almost produced wickets on demand. He kept making regular breakthroughs and derailed Afghanistan’s chase at every step. At one point, his figures read 7-1-10-4.
Captain Gulbadin Naib (47) and Samiullah Shinwari (49 not out) kept the Afghan hopes alive amidst the fall of wickets. However, the target of 263 runs proved to be too tall for the last-placed team. Saifuddin finished the game by castling Mujeeb in the 47th over. Afghanistan could only post 200 runs in total.
Mujeeb’s mystery web
Wiser from their experience against India, Afghanistan chose to bowl first after winning the toss. Mujeeb Ur Rehman again bowled a relentless opening spell. He struck the early blow in the form of Liton Das. He was brought back when Bangladesh were cruising at 142/2. Mujeeb immediately obliged with the wicket of tournament’s highest run-getter, Shakib. He also accounted for Soumya Sarkar. Using the carrom ball cleverly, Mujeeb recorded his best bowling figures against Bangladesh and ended with 3/39 from 10 overs.
Bangladesh rides on Rahim’s knock
After Liton’s quick fall, Tamim Iqbal and Shakib reconstructed the innings. The experienced opener failed to register a big score after a confident start while the star all-rounder was foxed by Mujeeb’s carrom ball. Batting at number four, Rahim assumed the mantle of run-scoring. The diminutive batsman controlled the tempo of the innings masterfully. He fell for a finely composed 83 from 87 balls. Mosaddek Hossain aided the cause with a quick-fire 24-ball 35. The final total of 262/7 was well beyond the par score at this ground in this tournament. At the halfway stage, Bangladesh looked set for a victory and they achieved it rather comfortably.