Asia Cup, 2023 |Match 4 |9/3/2023 Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
Right then, Bangladesh have sealed a crucial win and will be waiting to see which way the result goes in the final Group B fixture. Afghanistan will have to register a big win in their next match against Sri Lanka to have an outside chance of qualifying for the next stage. The action continues in the 2023 Asia Cup as India take on Nepal in a Group A tie at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Monday 4th September. The first ball will be bowled at 3 pm IST (9.30 am GMT) but you can join us for the build-up well in advance. Until then, goodbye and cheers!
Mehidy Hasan is awarded the Player of the Match for scoring a wonderful century and chipping in with a wicket. He expresses his gratitude to the team management for showing trust in him by promoting him up the batting order. He emphasizes his satisfaction with his performance in that role. He mentions that when he went in to bat, he took some time to settle and realized that the wicket was ideal for batting with the ball coming nicely onto the bat. Adds that it allowed him to build his innings effectively and he expresses his happiness in contributing to his team's success.
Shakib Al Hasan, the captain of Bangladesh says that their comprehensive victory was due to a well-rounded team effort. He acknowledges their good fortune in winning the toss which allowed them to set a strong foundation with their batting. He praises the outstanding performance of Mehidy Hasan at the top of the order and highlights that promoting him to open the innings had been a thoughtful decision. He commends the bowlers for their disciplined performance for effectively keeping the opposition in check. He mentions that they used short-pitched deliveries in the death overs and that proved to be a successful strategy. He ends by saying that there were solid contributions across all facets of the game, from batting to bowling and fielding.
Time for the presentations...
Taskin Ahmed is up for a chat. He says the wicket was batting-friendly and there was an absence of substantial assistance for the bowlers. He mentions that he was focused on varying his lengths to keep the opposition batters guessing. He adds that it was about getting the length right, especially in the given conditions, and attributed his successful performance to his ability to consistently hit the desired length. Ends by saying that this allowed him to contribute effectively to the team's performance.
Hashmatullah Shahidi the skipper of Afghanistan acknowledges that they had a chaseable target given the batting-friendly conditions under the lights. He mentions that the innings began well with the batting plan progressing as expected until around the 35th over but they lost crucial wickets when they needed to accelerate their run rate. He claims that they need improvement in their fielding department for the next match and a more effective bowling performance in the middle overs. He informs that they are focused on refining their strategies to rectify their mistakes and come back stronger in the tournament.
Time for some interviews...
Bangladesh dominated proceedings with the bat right from the word go as the openers accumulated 60 runs with the partnership being broken on the last ball of Powerplay 1. Mujeeb Ur Rahman managed to dismiss Mohammad Nabi and the Afghans looked to be clawing back into the game as Gulbadin Naib dismissed Towhid Hridoy on a duck in the very next over. However, it was all Bangladesh thereafter as Najmul Hossain Shanto and Mehidy Hasan added 194 runs together in 190 deliveries. Mehidy scored 112 runs in 119 balls before retiring hurt due to cramps in his fingers and Najmul reached his century soon after in just 101 balls. The latter was run out just like Mushfiqur Rahim and Shamim Hossain but Shakib Al Hasan provided the impetus towards the end to help the Bangla Tigers reach a formidable score. The bowlers stuck to their task and completed a comfortable win.
Afghanistan got off to the worst possible start as they lost Rahmanullah Gurbaz in the second over itself but Rahmat Shah came out and decided to soak in the pressure by consuming a few balls. Ibrahim Zadran looked to be aggressive from the other end and the two of them added 78 runs for the second wicket in 97 deliveries. Rahmat departed on 33 having consumed 57 deliveries but Ibrahim went on to get his half-century in quick time. A 52-run partnership with Hashmatullah Shahidi helped them take the game deep but Ibrahim departed on 75 having faced 74 deliveries. The skipper joined forces with Najibullah Zadran reaching his half-century as well and together they added 62 runs for the fourth wicket. Once Hashmatullah departed the middle-lower order collapsed but Rashid Khan provided some fireworks towards the end. They were bowled out though and will be disappointed with their batting effort.
The Bangladeshi new-ball bowlers were on the money straight away and Shoriful Islam started his spell with a maiden wicket having had an LBW decision turned down two balls before managing to dismiss Rahmanullah Gurbaz. They were unable to claim any more wickets in the Powerplay though and Taskin Ahmed was brought back into the attack to get a breakthrough. He did deliver and the spinners kept it tight through the middle overs as the required rate kept building for the Afghans. Hasan Mahmud was rewarded with a wicket for some tight bowling and Mehidy Hasan claimed one to add to his century in the first inning. Shoriful Islam came back into the attack to dismiss the Afghan captain and things looked quite comfortable for the Bangla Tigers thereafter. Taskin helped wrap up the tail and finished with a four-wicket haul and Shoriful had three under his name.
This has been a comfortable win for Bangladesh! They keep their tournament alive with this win having lost their opening game against Sri Lanka. They have registered an 89-run win and this should help boost their net run rate as well. Afghanistan will be really disappointed with their effort in this game especially their dependency on spin which cost them this match. Their spinners took just one wicket in 30 overs and their fast bowlers did not prove to be effective enough. Lot of work to be done by them if they are to beat Sri Lanka and have a chance to qualify to the next stage.
Taskin Ahmed to Rashid Khan, OUT! Caught! Slower ball just outside the off stump. Rashid Khan looks to heave the ball over midwicket but gets a big top edge and the ball goes up high into the night sky. Shakib Al Hasan, the skipper calls for the catch from mid-off and in the end takes it easily. Afghanistan are all out for 245 in 44.3 overs.
Taskin Ahmed to Fazalhaq Farooqi, Short at the batter. Fazalhaq Farooqi flicks it to deep square leg for a single.
Fazalhaq Farooqi is the last batter for Afghanistan.
Taskin Ahmed to Mujeeb Ur Rahman, OUT! HIT WICKET! Taskin Ahmed pitches the ball at the stumps from the length. Mujeeb Ur Rahman lofts the ball up over deep mid-wicket for a huge six but in the process his back leg touches the stumps and the bails drop off. Unlucky for Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Unlucky for Afghanistan.
END OF OVER 44 | 4 Runs & 1 Wkt | AFG 244/8
Hasan Mahmud to Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Full and at the stumps. Mujeeb Ur Rahman flicks the ball to deep midwicket for a single.
Hasan Mahmud to Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Bowls the good length just outside the off stump. Mujeeb Ur Rahman swings the bat again but misses out on the connection.
Hasan Mahmud to Rashid Khan, Short and at the batter this time. Rashid Khan pulls it away to the left of deep square leg and take another single.
Hasan Mahmud to Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Full and at the stumps. Mujeeb Ur Rahman pushes it to mid-off and takes a quick single.
Hasan Mahmud to Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Hits the backward length hard outside off stump. Mujeeb Ur Rahman swings the bat but does not get the connection.
Hasan Mahmud to Rashid Khan, Bowls a low full toss at the stumps. Rashid Khan flicks it to deep square leg and runs a single.
END OF OVER 43 | 9 Runs & 0 Wkt | AFG 240/8
Taskin Ahmed to Rashid Khan, Hits the good length outside the off stump. Rashid Khan punches it to the left of mid-off and runs a single to keep the strike.
Taskin Ahmed to Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Short again at the batter's body. Mujeeb Ur Rahman flicks it to deep square leg and runs a single.