Afghanistan script historic Asia Cup win over Bangladesh

Fatullah (Bangladesh): Saturday turned out to be a landmark for Afghanistan as its cricket team stunned Bangladesh by 32 runs in the Asia Cup at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium here Saturday.

This was Afghanistan’s first ODI victory against a Test-playing nation and its 17th ODI win overall.

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Defending a competitive 254/6 in 50 overs, the Afghans bowled out Bangladesh for 222 in 47.5 overs.

The hosts put Afghanistan in to bat and the visitors were reeling at 90/5 in the 27th over.

But an incredible 164-run sixth-wicket partnership between Man-of-the-Match Samiullah Shenwari (81) and Asghar Stanikzai (90 not out) not just rescued Afghanistan but also helped it pose a challenging total.

The partnership came at a staggering run-rate of 7.13 which was maintained for 23 overs before Shenwari was run out on the penultimate ball of the innings.

Shenwari hammered 10 boundaries and a six in his 69-ball knock while Stanikzai notched up his highest ODI score, which included six fours and three huge hits over the ropes.

Most of the Bangladeshi bowlers were pounded by the Afghan duo with only left-arm orthodox spinner Mominul Haque returning economical figures of 10-0-38-1.

In reply, Bangladesh made a shaky start with both openers – Anamul Haque (1) and Shamsur Rahman (0) – departing in only the second over.

The Bangladeshi middle-order scored in patches but no one took the responsibility of playing an anchor’s innings. Mominul (50), captain Mushfiqur Rahim (23), Nasir Hossain (41), Naeem Islam (35) and Ziaur Rahman (41) struck important runs but Bangladesh kept losing wickets at regular intervals and no one combined to play a match-saving partnership.

In a jolt, Bangladesh dropped from 161/4 to 165/8 in only eight deliveries which completely turned the tables on the side.

Eventually, the hosts were bowled out for 222 for a humiliating defeat.

Mohammed Nabi (3-44) got three wickets while Shapoor Zadran and Hamid Hassan scalped two wickets apiece.