ICC WC 2023: Bangladesh kicked off their Cricket World Cup campaign in spectacular fashion, securing a dominant six-wicket win over Afghanistan in a captivating match at Dharamsala’s scenic Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium on Saturday.
After winning the toss and choosing to field first, Bangladesh’s captain, Shakib Al Hasan, took charge with an outstanding display of spin bowling, claiming three crucial wickets early on and putting his side firmly in the driver’s seat. His brilliant spell of bowling helped restrict Afghanistan to a modest total of 156.
However, the star of the day was the versatile all-rounder, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, who showcased his exceptional skills both with the bat and the ball. Miraz not only made vital contributions with the ball, picking up three crucial wickets but also played a pivotal role with the bat, crafting a composed half-century that steered Bangladesh’s chase.
Afghanistan’s opening duo, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Ibrahim Zadran, provided their team with a solid start. Gurbaz, in particular, displayed impressive form and shared brief partnerships with Zadran (22) and Rahmat Shah (18), offering Afghanistan a glimmer of hope.
However, Shakib Al Hasan’s intervention with his crafty spin bowling shifted the momentum decisively in favor of Bangladesh. His three wickets included the crucial dismissals of Gurbaz, Zadran, and Rahmat, leaving Afghanistan in a precarious position at 112-4.
The turning point of the match arrived when Mehidy Hasan Miraz, in partnership with Najmul Hossain Shanto, constructed a magnificent 97-run alliance. Miraz’s exceptional half-century and Shanto’s unbeaten 59 not out guided Bangladesh to a comfortable victory with six wickets in hand. Their resilience and composure under pressure showcased their maturity as a batting pair.
Afghanistan, in their bid to defend a modest target, had their moments. Naveen-ul-Haq and Mujeeb Ur Rahman managed to claim a couple of wickets each, but it proved insufficient to deter Bangladesh’s pursuit of victory. The match concluded with Bangladesh reaching 158-4, securing an emphatic win and setting a positive tone for their World Cup journey.
This remarkable triumph sends a strong message from Bangladesh in the early stages of the tournament. Their balanced performance with both bat and ball, spearheaded by the heroics of Shakib Al Hasan and Mehidy Hasan Miraz, is sure to boost their confidence as they look ahead to their upcoming matches in the Cricket World Cup.
The Cricket World Cup continues to provide thrilling encounters and unforgettable moments for cricket enthusiasts around the world. Stay tuned for more updates as this cricketing spectacle unfolds.