Cricket World Cup 2023: Mehidy Hasan Miraz's All-Round Effort Helps Bangladesh Clinch Six-Wicket Win vs Afghanistan
The glittering all-round performance of Mehidy Hasan Miraz headlined Bangladesh's smooth six-wicket victory over Afghanistan in their World Cup opener
- Press Trust of India
- Updated: October 07, 2023 05:41 PM IST
The glittering all-round performance of Mehidy Hasan Miraz headlined Bangladesh's smooth six-wicket victory over Afghanistan in their World Cup opener in Dharamsala on Saturday. Miraz first employed his off-spin effectively to take 3 for 25, helping Bangladesh to bundle out Afghanistan for 156, and then returned to make a crucial 57 off 73 balls in his side's facile chase that got over in 34.4 overs. Najmul Shanto too chipped in for the Tigers with a patient unbeaten 59 off 83 balls. Chasing 157, Bangladesh were wobbling a bit at 27 for 2 after openers Tanzid Hasan and Litton Das returned within the first seven overs.
However, Miraz and Shanto milked 97 runs for the third wicket in just above 22 overs to carry Bangladesh closer to the finishing line.
The tackiness in the pitch made a cautious approach mandatory for the Bangladesh batters, and they responded to the task while rotating the strike efficiently through nips and tucks around.
However, they also did not miss any opportunity to free their arms. Shanto danced down the tracks to deposit Mujeeb Ur Rahman over long on for a clean six.
Fittingly, it was Shanto who brought the winning runs when he smashed pacer Naveen-ul-Haq for two successive boundaries.
Earlier, Shakib Al Hasan and Miraz exploited a slightly tacky pitch to the hilt to restrict Afghanistan to a meagre 156.
Shakib and Miraz shared six wickets equally among them as Afghanistan spectacularly imploded, as only Rahmanullah Gurbaz (47 off 62 balls) offered some token fight.
However, there was no sign of such a collapse when Afghanistan were comfortably placed at 112 for two in the 25th over.
Gurbaz and skipper Hashmatullah Shahidi were consolidating their third-wicket alliance, but the pace-spin combination of Mustafizur Rahman and Miraz rocked Afghanistan with two wickets in five balls.
Miraz was the first to come to the party. Shahidi, who was struggling to force pace against spinners, finally went for a desperate big shot off the off-spinner that was snaffled by Towhid Hridoy at mid-on.
Gurbaz too soon departed as his attempt to clear Rahman ended in the hands of Tanzid Hasan in the deep.
From that point, the Afghans slipped into a panic mode, and lost wickets at regular intervals as Bangladesh bowlers mounted pressure on them with a tidy spell.
Shakib's performance too deserved a special mention. The Bangladesh captain, who elected to field first, led the bowlers from the front with an impeccable show of spin bowling.
The veteran left-arm spinner is expected to lead Bangladesh's bowling effort in this tournament, and Shakib showed that he is ready for the task with a fine display on this day.
The Afghanistan batsmen, who has a reasonable amount of experience in tackling spin, failed to read him either off the hand or off the pitch.
The dismissal of Najibullah Zadran underlined that point. Zadran failed to read a ball that came along with the hand and held its line.
The ball went past his tentative push to rattle the stumps, and Afghanistan were in all sorts of trouble, a position that ended with their defeat.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)