Afghanistan World Cup debut turns sour
Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza won the toss and chose to bat in the 50 overs game, said Farid Hotak, the Afghanistan Cricket Board spokesman.
He said Bangladesh lost four batsmen in quick succession and became under pressure but two former captains Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan made a 114-runs partnership off 93 balls for fifth wicket, taking the side to a strong position.
Bangladesh played all the 50 overs and set Afghanistan 276 runs target, with Rahim and Hasan contributing 71 and 63 runs respectively.
For Afghanistan, Hamid Hassan, Aftab Alam, Shahpoor Zadran and Mirwais Ashraf took two wickets each and Mohammad Nabi got one wicket.
Afghanistan never recovered from the loss of Javed Ahmadi, Afsar Zazai and Asghar Stanikzai in 13 balls that left them facing humiliation at 3-3 after the opening three overs.
Although Nawroz Mangal’s 27 and Samiullah Shenwari’s 42 runs averted complete humiliation with a fourth wicket partnership of 62, the run chase never looked on.
Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza (3-20) took two of the wickets to help spur his side to a measure of revenge for the defeat in the only previous meeting between the countries at the Asia Cup last year.
Nabi made 44 runs and Najib Zadran 17. Skipper Mohammad Nabi admitted his side never recovered from being three for three in the first three overs, but he insisted there was still time for Afghanistan to impress at the showpiece event.
"We bowled really well in the first 35 overs but then Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan batted well for them and took the total to 260," said Nabi. "We then lost those three early wickets when we batted. It wasn't a good start to the tournament but hopefully we can get better in the next game."
The Afghans will meet their fellow minnows Scotland in Dunedin on Sunday, while Bangladesh head for Brisbane and a clash with co-hosts Australia on Saturday.
"It's always important to win the first match and just as important to bowl well," said Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza. "We bowled well and attacked them. When we batted, Mushfiqur and Shakib were just brilliant."
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