Bangladesh made a triumphant start to their World Cup campaign, securing a comprehensive six-wicket victory over Afghanistan in a low-scoring contest in Dharamshala today. The Bangladesh bowlers, notably Shakib Al Hasan and Mehidy Hasan Miraz, showcased an impressive performance, dismissing Afghanistan for a mere 156 after skipper Shakib Al Hasan opted to field first at the picturesque venue, known for its scenic backdrop but also noted for its sand-based outfield which raised some concerns during the match.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz was a notable performer for Afghanistan, becoming the fastest player from his country to reach 1000 ODI runs, achieving this milestone in 27 innings. However, his efforts were not enough to prevent a collapse from 83 for 1 to 156 all out, with Shakib and Mehidy each taking three crucial wickets. This match marked Afghanistan’s 13th successive defeat in the World Cup, a streak that has been ongoing since 2015.
In response, Bangladesh, despite losing two early wickets, managed to chase down the target successfully, finishing at 158 for 4 in 34.4 overs. Mehidy Hasan Miraz (57) and Najmul Hossain Shanto (59 not out) played pivotal roles, striking respective half-centuries to guide Bangladesh over the line. Mehidy, who was dropped twice during his innings, and Shanto, who continued his excellent form, ensured a smooth chase, winning by 6 wickets with more than 15 overs to spare, making it a convincing win for Bangladesh (BD).
To be honest, this was never in doubt after the collapse we saw in the first innings from Afghanistan. BD batted really well in reply. They lost 2 early, but Mehidy Hasan and Najmul Hossain batted sensibly, forming a partnership that stabilized the innings after a shaky start. The two added just below 100 before Mehidy fell.
Shakib did not last for long too in the middle, but Najmul Hossain Shanto stayed till the end and, with a half-century, ensured his side got over the line. This victory not only marks a positive start to Bangladesh’s World Cup campaign but also highlights the team’s balanced performance in both batting and bowling departments.