Dharamsala, Oct 7: From 83/1 in 15 overs to 156 all out after 37.2, Afghanistan had themselves to blame for the unexpected collapse against Bangladesh, here in their first match of the 2023 ODI World Cup on Saturday.
Chasing a target of 157, In reply Bangladesh were 146/4 in 33.3 overs. However, some poor fielding by by Afghan fielders helped Bangladesh.
Earlier, as expected, Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan elected to field first in the bowling friendly conditions of Dharamsala. But Afghanistan began well looking set for a good score with 83 runs on board, losing just one wicket in 15 overs.
With Afghanistan looking compact and determined for a respectable total, Bangladesh supporters might have thought their skipper misread the pitch and could have opted to bat first.
But then the magic of spinners duo Mehidy Hasan Miraz and captain Shakib pushed Afghanistan back. Once the top three were removed, Afghanistan innings fell like a house of cards. Mehidy and Shakib shared 3 wickets each.
For Afghanistan, opener and seasoned wicketkeeper Rahmanullah Gurbaz top scored with 47. His opening partner Ibrahim Zardan (22), Rahmat Shah (18), Afghan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi (18) and Azmatullah Omarzai (22) though got starts, but could continue for long.
Two Afghanistan batters were dismissed without opening their accounts, while only five batsmen managed double-digit scores. Once Afghanistan struggled, Shakib's boys doubled their enthusiasm in the field and did not allow Afghans to tee off again.