Mehidy stars as Bangladesh dominate Afghanistan in World Cup
Mehidy Hasan Miraz shone with both his batting and bowling skills as Bangladesh kicked off their World Cup journey with a commanding six-wicket victory over Afghanistan in Dharamsala this Saturday.
The off-spinner took 3-25 as Afghanistan were bowled out for just 156.
Mehidy then made 57 after being dropped twice, with fellow 25-year-old Nojmul Hossain Shanto finishing on 59 not out as Bangladesh won with more than 15 overs to spare.
This match also saw Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan inflict more World Cup damage on Afghanistan, the left-arm spinner taking 3-30 while his bowling changes yielded wickets.
Afghanistan, relatively well-placed at 47-1 and 112-2 after being sent into bat by Shakib, lost their last eight wickets for 44 runs.
"It's a great moment for me," said man of the match Mehidy at the presentation ceremony.
"I was a little bit cautious in my mind early on while bowling but the captain (Shakib) told me to bowl at the right areas and told me to be consistent and that gave me confidence so credit goes to the captain."
As for his batting, he said: "I always play at number eight so it was a great opportunity to bat in the top order...it's a great moment for me to perform."
Shakib added: "I am happy to contribute with my bowling..all our five bowlers chipped in, they contributed.
"Mehidy, Shanto...these are our inform players -- they are always confident and want to do well for the team."
Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi was left to rue his side's collapse.
Saturday's defeat comes after Afghanistan lost all nine matches at the 2019 World Cup.
- 'Bad shot selection' -"We had a good start but at the middle after fall of first wicket, we had bad shot selection, but their bowlers bowled very tight. I think we fought well (in the field) but the score wasn't enough," said Shahidi.
Shakib, who in the corresponding World Cup fixture four years ago took 5-29 in Bangladesh's 62-run win, made the initial breakthrough Saturday when he had Ibrahim Zadran caught on the sweep.
Several Afghanistan batsmen gave their wickets away, with only opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz (47) offering much resistance.
But Gurbaz, who made 145 in a one-day international against Bangladesh in July, fell when, seemingly frustrated at the lack of support from the other end, he holed out off paceman Mustafizur Rahman to Tanzid Hasan in the covers.
Afghanistan's plight was summed up when tailender Mujeeb Ur Rahman walked out to bat without wearing a box or athletic protector.
Bangladesh stumbled early on in their chase.
Tanzid Hasan was run out by Najibullah Zadran and the Tigers were 27-2 when Liton Das played on to paceman Fazalhaq Farooqi.
But Afghanistan, who needed to take every chance when defending such a low total, then saw Najibullah drop Mehidy on 12, when he floored a regulation catch at backward point.
Mehidy was missed again on 23 when he uppercut Naveen-ul-Haq only for Mujeeb to drop a one-handed catch at deep third man he have could have held with two hands.
Mehidy punished those lapses with a 58-ball fifty including four fours.
He then survived a close lbw appeal from Mujeeb following a prolonged review before he was brilliantly caught one-handed by a leaping Rahmat Shah at mid-off to end a third-wicket partnership of 97.
But by then Bangladesh were in sight of victory.
Najmul, having already hit Mujeeb for six, went on to an 80-ball fifty.
He finished the match with successive fours, the second coming from a fumble at mid-off, as he continued an impressive 2023 where he is averaging nearly 55 in ODI cricket.
Afghanistan: 156 (37.2)
Fall of wickets: 1-47 (Ibrahim Zadran-8.2 ov), 2-83 (Rahmat Shah-15.1 ov), 3-112 (Hashmatullah Shahidi-24.4 ov), 4-112 (Rahmanullah Gurbaz-25.2 ov), 5-122 (Najibullah Zadran-28.4 ov), 6-126 (Mohammad Nabi-29.6 ov), 7-150 (Rashid Khan-34.2 ov), 8-156 (Azmatullah Omarzai-35.2 ov), 9-156 (Mujeeb Ur Rahman-36.3 ov), 10-156 (Naveen-ul-Haq-37.2 ov)
Bangladesh: 158-4 (34.4)
Fall of wickets: 1-19 (Tanzid Hasan-4.1 ov), 2-27 (Litton Das-6.4 ov), 3-124 (Mehidy Hasan Miraz-28.1 ov), 4-146 (Shakib Al Hasan-33.3 ov)
Bangladesh: Tanzid Hasan, Litton Das(WK), Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Shakib Al Hasan(C), Mushfiqur Rahim, Towhid Hridoy, Mahmudullah, Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Mustafizur Rahman
Afghanistan: Rahmanullah Gurbaz(WK), Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi(C), Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Azmatullah Omarzai, Rashid Khan, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi
Date: Saturday, October 7, 2023 06:00
Venue: Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala, Dharamsala
Toss: Bangladesh elected to bowl
Officials Umpires: Joel Wilson(West Indies) Kumar Dharmasena(Sri Lanka) Ahsan Raza(Pakistan TV)
Match Referee: Andy Pycroft(Zimbabwe)
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