Shakib Al Hasan on Wednesday became the first Bangladesh batsman to cross 4000 runs in ODIs. The former captain blasted 63 runs off 51 balls against World Cup debutants Afghanistan to celebrate the achievement in Canberra where Bangla fans had conquered the stands, outnumbering their Afghan counterparts.(Scorecard | Blog)
Shakib, the No. 1 all-rounder in the ICC rankings, walked in to bat with Bangladesh in a spot of bother on 102/3 in the 26th over and played a steadying hand against the minnows. The Tigers were in further trouble at 119/4, but Shakib then joined hands with another former Bangladesh captain, Mushfiqur Rahim and added 114 runs in less than 16 overs.
The 27-year-old, playing his 142nd ODI, cracked a stroke-filled 27th fifty and used his experience to deny Afghanistan's spirited bowlers. The stylish left-handed batsman was in an aggressive mood right from the start, hammering the fast and furious Shapoor Zadran to the fence of the very first ball he faced.
Shakib looked set for a big score, but he was done in by Hamid Hassan in the slog overs as he tried to go for some quick runs. However, this effort like many others in the past, could ensure Bangladesh avenge their humiliating defeat in the Asia Cup. Shakib was of course not part of the team then, serving a ban imposed on him by the Bangladesh Cricket Board. That ban had cost the Tigers, but this time, the talented all-rounder was at his imperious best.
In fact, thanks to that rollicking stand between Shakib and Mushfiqur, Bangladesh were able to post a respectable 267 despite another late-order collapse.