Afganistan’s dream run continues in Asia Cup 2018 as they beat Bangladesh by a massive 136 runs at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi. Opting to bat first Afganistan posted a competitive total of 255/7 in 50 overs helped by an unbeaten 95 run partnership between Rashid and Naib. Bangladesh batsmen never looked chasing the target as their innings wrapped up for just 119 in 42.1 overs.
Batting first, Afganistan lost opener Ihsanullah in the second over with just ten runs on board. Mohammad Shahzad and Shahidi carried on from 28/2 adding 51 runs for the third wicket. Shahzad caught at the boundary when he tried to clear Shakib over long by Abu Hider. Shahidi scored 58 off 92 balls to keep the scoreboard moving and the momentum in their favor. Bangladesh was fighting hard and bowled with discipline picking up wicket regular intervals to keep Afghanistan to 160/7 at the end of 41st over. Rashid and Naib then formed an excellent partnership adding 95 runs for 8th in wicket in 55 balls which helped them post the competitive total. Rashid remained unbeaten with a brilliant 57 off 32 balls and Naib at the other end on 42 off 38 balls. Shakib returned with an excellent bowling figure 4 for 42 in his ten overs.
Bangladesh needed a solid start to chase down the target in the second half. Afganistan bowled their line and length so accurate not giving any easy runs and maintained the pressure. None of the Bangladesh batsmen were able to build a partnership in the innings. Shakib scored a fighting 32 runs but once departed the scene Bangladesh were half the side down with just 79 runs added to their innings. The result of the game which was already in favor of Afganistan and their bowlers managed to get the remaining five wickets for forty runs. Rashid Khan was phenomenal with the ball as his spell read 9-3-13-2. There was no doubt about the Player of the match after his brilliant performance. It was a complete team effort with all the bowlers pitching in and taking wickets which spoiled the momentum of Bangladesh innings and eventually all out for 119 runs within 43 overs.
Bangladesh has very less time to recover and overcome the issues as they move on to super four to take on India within a day at Dubai International Stadium. Meanwhile, Afganistan will be high on confidence as they meet Pakistan and expecting to repeat another great performance. Things may not be easy for Afganistan as Pakistan will be looking forward to making strong come back after their weak performance against India.