Rahim, Shakib take Bangladesh to 267 against Afghanistan

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Canberra, Feb 18 (IANS) Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim (71) and Shakib Al Hasan (63) pushed Bangladesh to 267 all out against Afghanistan during a Pool A encounter of the World Cup at the Manuka Oval here Wednesday.

Bangladesh were struggling at 119/4 when Rahim joined Shakib and they put up a 114-run partnership for the fifth wicket to bail the team out of trouble. They not only stabilised the innings but also ensured that they score at a good pace.

Afghanistan opening bowlers Hamid Hassan and Shapoor Zadran made a decent start, not letting opening batsmen Tamim Iqbal (19) and Anamul Haque (29) to break free. They bowled with good line and length, forcing the batsmen to play defensively inside the first 15 overs.

The Bangladesh batsmen showed a lot of patience and did their best to get the scoreboard ticking.

However, explosive batsman Tamim lost his patience. The left-hander edged medium pacer Mirwais Ashraf’s length ball to wicketkeeper Afsar Zafai, who dived to his left and plucked a single-handed catch.

Ashraf trapped Haque in the fourth ball of the 17th over to send both the settled batsmen packing.

Mahmudullah (23) and Soumya Sarkar (28) did well to stitch a 50-run stand for the third wicket before the latter was plumbed in front of the wicket by Zadran in the 26th over. Zadran dealt another blow as he forced an edge off Mahmudullah to the hands of wicketkeeper Afzai.

At 119/4, Rahim joined Shakib with his team reeling. Both the senior players played positively from the start and a partnership flourished.

They didn’t hesitate to punish the weak deliveries and as a result, their scoring rate remain healthy. They scored 114 runs in 15.4 overs to set the team for a blast at the death. While Shakib recorded his 27th One-Day International (ODI) fifty, Rahim notched up his 19th half-century.

However, both the batsmen lost their wickets and the lower order line-up crumbled against a disciplined Afghanistan bowling.

For Afghanistan, Aftab Alam, Zadran, Hassan, Ashraf picked up two wickets apiece. Skipper Mohammad Nabi took the all important wicket of the opposing captain.

Brief Scores: Bangladesh 267 all out in 50 overs (Mushfiqur Rahim 71, Shakib Al Hasan 63; Shapoor Zadran 2/20, Mirwais Ashraf 2/32) against Afghanistan.

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