A professional effort from Bangladesh. 262 on this slightly two-paced surface, it was always going to be difficult for Afghanistan who needed someone from the top four to anchor the inning. That didn’t happen as the Bangladesh spinners put breaks on. Naib did get a few runs but was extremely scratchy and nobody in the top order could continue to match the run rate. Shakib was very good with bat and ball .
His spell virtually killed the game and although the Shenwari-Najibullah stand rekindled some hope, the asking rate had shot up beyond reach for this sort of a pitch. Earlier in the day, Bangladesh’s batting effort was equally vital as their batsmen summed up the pitch really well, sizing themselves up for a 250ish total and eventually getting to 262.
Rahim’s knock was the highlight, as was Shakib’s fifty and most of the batsmen chipped in with useful contributions. Mosaddek Hossain played a valuable inning to finish on high. Afghanistan would rue the bizarre decision to field first on such a pitch, even if it was done with an eye on the weather.
Mashrafe Mortaza | Bangladesh captain:
Smiles when asked about the crowd. Thanks, them from the bottom of his heart. Is not short of words when asked to praise Shakib calling him as one of the most important players in the team. On Rahim-Shakib’s partnership, Mash says that it was short but very important. Praises Tamim and Mahmudullah for their contributions. On the latter’s injury, Mashrafe says that there is a week to go before their next match against India, so Mahmudullah will be assessed gradually. On their upcoming games against India and Pakistan, Mortaza says that Bangladesh will give their best and hope for the best.
Gulbadin Naib | Afghanistan Captain:
Says that the India match was a close one but in this one, blame the poor quality of fielding. Adds that they gave away 30-40 runs extra but does not want to take any credit from Bangladesh’s batting or Shakib. On Najibullah batting so low down the order, Naib deflects the question, stating that he is an experienced player and can hit the ball long and blames Ikram Ali Khil for not rotating the strike while batting above him. On Afghanistan’s journey so far, Gulbadin says that the team has been suffering from injuries which is why they have not been able to perform well consistently.
SHAKIB AL HASAN | MAN OF THE MATCH:
Shakib says that the support for Bangladesh has been great throughout this World Cup as the crowd has been right behind them. Al Hasan mentions the five wickets made him happier as it was important but he had to work hard for his half a ton too. States Rahim played really well and without him, the score would not have been possible. Further adds Tamim’s and Mosaddek’s contributions were also important. Tells they had to bat well as Afghanistan have got really good spinners. On his good batting form, Shakib says that he does not know how he is playing so well, but he worked hard and was prepared for it and it is paying off. Ends by saying he wants the form to continue in the matches ahead and they have big games coming up, against India and Pakistan.