CWC 2023 AFG vs BAN Highlights: Bangladesh’s Strong Start in the 2023 ODI World Cup

Suresh Bishnoi
(Photo Source: Twitter/ICC)

CWC 2023 AFG vs BAN Highlights:: Bangladesh kicked off their 2023 ODI World Cup campaign with a resounding six-wicket win over Afghanistan in Dharamsala, thanks to stellar performances from Shakib Al Hasan and Mehidy Hasan Miraz. For Afghanistan, this loss marked their 13th consecutive defeat at the World Cup, a disheartening streak that stretched back to 2015.

Shakib Al Hasan’s Crucial Three-Wicket Haul

When Afghanistan batted first, they seemed to be on a steady course until the introduction of Shakib Al Hasan into the attack. Shakib’s skillful bowling accounted for the key wickets of Ibrahim Zadran and Rahmat Shah, causing a drastic shift in momentum. This resulted in Afghanistan’s innings spiraling from 83 for 1 to a total of 156 all out, and they could never fully recover from this setback.

Mehidy Hasan Miraz’s All-Round Prowess

Mehidy Hasan Miraz further compounded Afghanistan’s troubles with his all-round brilliance. He not only played a crucial role in dismantling Afghanistan’s batting order with his three-wicket haul but also showcased his prowess as a batsman. Though his half-century was somewhat precarious, it played a pivotal role in steering Bangladesh to victory. Alongside him, Najmul Hossain Shanto’s unbeaten 59 further solidified Bangladesh’s dominance, allowing them to clinch the game with more than 15 overs to spare.

Challenging Conditions at Dharamsala

Dharamsala, known for its breathtaking natural beauty, is one of the most picturesque cricket venues globally. However, in this match, the sand-based outfield presented a challenge. Fielders experienced difficulty while sliding, and puffs of dust emerged when fast bowlers ran in to bowl. Fortunately, both teams managed to escape without any significant injuries, despite the trying conditions.

The Match Overview

In the morning, Shakib Al Hasan won the toss and opted to bowl. While the new ball offered some movement, Bangladesh’s seamers shifted to a shorter length prematurely, occasionally veering off their intended lines. Afghanistan’s opening batsmen, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim, capitalized on these opportunities, consistently finding the boundary in the early overs.

Shakib Al Hasan broke the opening partnership when Ibrahim attempted a sweep shot from well outside off and ended up top-edging, resulting in a catch at deep square-leg. Rahmat Shah, too, fell victim to Shakib in a similar manner, getting caught near short extra cover.

Rahmat’s dismissal caused a significant slowdown in Afghanistan’s scoring rate, with only five runs coming in the next four overs. Captain Hashmatullah Shahidi struggled to rotate the strike against Mehidy Hasan Miraz, managing just three runs off 22 balls faced.

Hashmatullah attempted to break free, but he skyed a delivery miles into the air, ultimately caught at mid-on. Meanwhile, Rahmanullah Gurbaz became the fastest Afghan cricketer to reach 1000 ODI runs in 27 innings, besting Rahmat’s record by four innings. However, Gurbaz’s efforts to accelerate the scoring rate led to his downfall when he gave charge to Mustafizur Rahman, who bowled a slower ball caught by Tanzid Hasan at deep cover.

Shakib returned to pick up his third wicket as Najibullah Zadran played down the wrong line and was bowled. Mohammad Nabi followed suit, chopping a delivery from Taskin Ahmed onto his stumps. Afghanistan was reduced to 126 for 6, and the tailenders struggled, with Azmatullah Omarzai and Rashid Khan being dismissed as well.

Afghanistan’s Struggles Defending 156

Defending a total of 156, Afghanistan’s bowlers had a challenging start. Fazalhaq Farooqi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman struggled with their lines, allowing Bangladesh to reach 27 for 2. A mix-up between Tanzid Hasan and Litton Das resulted in Hasan’s run-out, and Litton himself was bowled after getting an inside edge.

Despite the early wickets, Afghanistan’s chances to stage a comeback were hindered by their own mistakes. Mehidy Hasan Miraz received two reprieves, dropped by Najibullah at backward point and Mujeeb at deep third off Naveen-ul-Haq. These lapses allowed Mehidy to proceed with his innings, which proved pivotal in Bangladesh’s pursuit.

Mehidy and Shanto opted for a risk-averse approach, accumulating singles and twos. However, it took just 58 balls for Mehidy to reach his half-century. By the time Afghanistan finally managed to break their partnership, Bangladesh needed only 33 more runs to secure their victory, with Shanto also completing his half-century. This comfortable win marked a strong start to Bangladesh’s campaign in the 2023 ODI World Cup, setting a positive tone for their future matches in the tournament.

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *