Afghanistan Claim Historic Victory Over Bangladesh
Afghanistan 254-6 (Asghar Stanikzai 90no) beat
Bangladesh 222 (Mominul Haque 50) by 32 runs
Asia Cup game five, Fatullah
Game five of the Asia Cup 2014 saw Afghanistan make history with their first ever One-Day International victory over a Test-playing side, beating Bangladesh by 32 runs in Fatullah.
Bangladesh can have no complaints as after putting themselves in a strong position with the ball early on, they were outplayed.
Afghanistan recovered from being 90 for five to post 254 for six thanks to half-centuries from Asghar Stanikzai and Samiullah Shenwari.
Bangladesh were then bowled out for 222 with captain Mohammad Nabi taking three wickets for the tournament debutants.
This was just Afghanistan's fourth ODI against a Test-playing side having played Australia once and Pakistan twice before this game.
That inexperience of playing at the highest level looked painfully apparent when Rubel Hossain, Arafat Sunny and Mominul Haque took wickets early on to leave them reeling.
Mohammad Shehzad (2), Karim Sadiq (12), Najibullah Zadran (21), Nawroz Mangal (24) and Nabi (7) departed cheaply and after more than half of their overs, they had failed to reach 100 and had lost half of their wickets.
But they would lose only one more as the counter-attack from Stanikzai, who struck 90 not out in 103 balls, and Shenwari, who made 81 in just 69, rocked Bangladesh onto the back foot.
Stanikzai hit six fours and three sixes while Shenwari slammed 10 fours and one six during a 164-run partnership that turned the game on its head.
It was only broken with one ball of the innings remaining when Shenwari was run out but Afghanistan had plundered 74 of their runs in the final six overs.
It was blistering hitting, a remarkable comeback and proof that they fully deserve their place in the competition - and their bowling effort was just as impressive.
Hamid Hassan and Shapoor Zadran struck to remove openers Anamul Haque (1) and Shamsur Rahman (0) before Mominul (50) and Mushfiqur Rahim (23) steadied the ship.
They added 67 together for the third wicket before Nabi had Rahim trapped in front and Mominul was bowled by Shenwari, who enjoyed a fine all-round game.
Without the experience of Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan available to them, it was left to Nasir Hossain (41), Naeem Islam (35) and Ziaur Rahman (41) to keep them in the game.
All three played decent enough innings, but the home side badly needed one or more of them to kick on and make a half-century to get them close.
Nasir faced 60 balls and Naeem 51 before falling to catches on the off-side while Ziaur did throw the bat in a bid to deal with a spiralling net run-rate, facing just 22 deliveries.
Left with the tail-enders, he hit four fours and three sixes before his luck ran out and he was bowled by Nabi attempting another huge shot.
Nabi had taken on the responsibility of bowling late on as Hassan had headed off nursing a sore hamstring.
If it hadn't already, the match slipped away from Bangladesh when they lost four wickets for four runs in the 39th and 40th overs including three in three balls when Nasir, Naeem, Abdur Razzak and Arafat all fell, the latter two without scoring.
The collapse from 161 for four to 165 for eight finally gave Afghanistan some proverbial breathing space, although Ziaur gave them a fright or two and took the score past 200 with support from Rubel, who made 17.
After Ziaur fell, Rubel and Sohag Gazi (2 not out) merely delayed the inevitable, which came when Rubel was caught by Mangal off Nabi to spark celebrations for Afghanistan.
Shapoor ended with two for 39 and Hassan two for 26 while Nabi led the way with three for 44.
Afghanistan next play Sri Lanka, who have won both of their games in the tournament so far, on Tuesday, while Bangladesh play Pakistan one day later.
Tomorrow's match is between India and Pakistan - both of whom have a win and a loss apiece from their first two matches.
© Cricket World 2014
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